Will you be a follower?

Bible talks about Jesus’ first followers in Luke 5. Most interestingly, it tells us about the true nature of a follower of Christ.

The chapter begins with Jesus preaching by the Lake of Gannesaret. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon “Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When he had done so, he caught such a large number of fish that the nets began to break. He signaled his friends in the other boat to come and help. When Simon saw this miracle, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man. Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch man.” So he left everything and followed him.

Why did Simon leave the fruit of his obedience to follow Jesus. He had every right to claim and keep the large number of fish he had just caught.  Simon was obedient even though he was tired and frustrated after night long hard work. He didn’t close his ears to the voice of the one who said, “Put out into deep water.” He did exactly what Jesus wanted him to do. The fruit of his obedience came as great number of fish. It  was a great miracle for Simon and his friends, and Simon earned that miracle since he was obedient to Jesus.

Simon didn’t need to leave the fruit of his obedience to follow Jesus. Did he?

Simon left everything because he had found something far greater than the fruit of his obedience and his miracle. He had experienced the power behind the WORD. This unseen power behind Jesus’ word touched Simon and filled him with strength to carry on and put down the net into deep water when he was completely exhausted. That same power brought Simon on his knees that he cried out and confessed, “Lord I am a sinful man.” The same power filled Simon with a desire to follow Jesus, Not only that, Simon wanted to follow Christ empty-handed, giving him back what he had just received from him.

Simon worshipped Jesus by offering the first fruit of his obedience and his miracle.

Not everyone is a true follower of Christ but only those who are ready to leave their miracle and the fruit of obedience at HIS voice. They are the true worshippers, same as those elders in heavenly worship who lay their crowns at the feet of Jesus to worship him.

Jesus is still looking for followers… Will you be one?

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Know your enemy

Ephesians 5:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Paul emphasizes the fact that our struggle is not against the flesh and blood but against the rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. Since the nature of the enemy is to try to deceive God’s people by presenting them with half-truth in a devious manner, the children of God need to be fully equipped with the spiritual armour and be aware of the plans of the enemy as Paul says in 2Cor.2:11 “For we are not unaware of his schemes.”.

Enemy knows the word of God but his intention is to take the glory that is due to most High God. Bible says in Rev. 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God to receive all Glory, Honour and Power.” Enemy is well aware of this truth for he himself was an angel but when he became full of pride (Isaiah 14:13), he was thrown down to the earth. His intention now is to spread half-truth among the children of God and somehow make them believe in his lies. His lies are as unique as God’s promises are and it calls for a great responsibility on the part of God’s children to fill themselves up with the WORD of God and use the appropriate word to cut the lie that rises against it, the way Jesus did when He was tempted (Matthew 4).

As mentioned in Eph. 5:12, Enemy uses four types of forces to deceive God’s children

Rulers:

Jesus promises in Rev. 3:21 “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne just as I overcame and sat down with my father on his throne.” Since the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. In response to Jesus’ promise of making the overcomers rulers, enemy creates rulers who work day and night with the intention that God’s people may not receive this particular blessing and not be able to sit with Jesus on his throne. Enemy does it by creating doubts in the mind of a believer the way he tried to tempt Jesus by saying “If you are son of most high God, ask and these stones will turn into bread.”  Enemy still comes to God’s children with the same question “If you are God’s son or daughter, why  doesn’t he  fulfill your immediate need”. Jesus’ way is the only way to quiet the enemy. As the spirit of the Lord led Paul to say in Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things.”

Authorities:

Jesus promises in Rev. 2:26, “To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations.” In enemy’s pursuit to stop God’s people from receiving this blessing, he has assigned authorities who work hard to discourage overcomers that they may stop in-between of their work for the Lord and not reach to the end. Please note that the promise is only for those who persist till the end. Enemy sends authorities to work among those who are struggling to live a Godly life, and tries to discourage them to the point that they may quit and not get to the end of what God has purposed for them. Have you started working for the Lord but have stopped in-between or don’t feel motivated or inspired anymore. Be aware that the enemy is not just after stealing your motivation or encouragement but to steal your authority that Jesus has in place just for you.

Powers of this dark world:

Jesus speaks to the Church in Sardis in Rev. 3:4, “Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me dressed in white for they are worthy.” Powers of dark world come to create doubts in the minds of believers about their worth in the sight of God. Sometimes we judge ourselves by what we do or what others think of us but this standard is not the one that Jesus uses. We become worthy not by what we do or think but by the presence of Jesus with us and in us. His presence covers us with true righteousness, and then we are counted worthy in his sight. What a joy! Don’t let powers of dark world create confusion in you about your true worth.

Spiritual forces of evil:

Jesus says in Rev. 2:7, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Since the spirit is always speaking and eagerly seeking those who are open to his voice, enemy is preparing spiritual forces to make the ears heavy and minds dull so that unbelievers can’t see the light of the gospel. As Paul speaks in 2 Cor.4:4 “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of God.” Please note that these forces work freely among those who have accepted Christ with mouth but have no desire to know HIM better by spending time with him. The more time we spend with the Lord, listening to him, the healthier our spiritual person becomes who feeds on the revealation word of God. Do you feel that the word of God doesn’t encourage you as much as it used to, or even sitting in the presence of the Lord doesn’t bring any peace and joy to you. Know that the spiritual forces of evil are not after your time or joy but after your salvation. Guard it well.

Rev. 12:11 talks about overcoming enemy by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony.