Technology is increasing like never before, and our private and public lives are equally being displayed on social media outlets screaming, "look at me", "follow me!" constantly. We follow people on social media for a host of reasons. For some, it is the privy to superstars that we admire. To others, it gives us the sense that we "know" the people that we follow. But to my surprise when I looked at the word 'follow' in the Webster Dictionary, the transitive verb describes the word as:
: to engage in as a calling or way of life
: to come into existence or take place as consequence of
: to cause to be
From the definition, how many of us as a result of following someone are being prompted to engage in what we have been called to do in order to come into the existence of a life that we were called to live in? Sadly, far too often are we following people for all the wrong reasons.
"Follow Me" were the words that Jesus spoke several times throughout the bible to His soon to be disciples, and here is what I want to point out:
So many people have replaced God for people or leaders(great leaders), but we are never to replace Him for people. When it comes to people who live for God, we are to follow God and not people. Now, in no way am I saying to stop attending church or stop being respectful to people you admire or look up to. But what I am saying is that we are to keep our focus on God.
"It's great to admire a person, it's honorable to follow a righteous example, but it is obsessive & idolatrous to want to become them."
Pastor Kimberly Ray
In the Old Testament, Isaiah a prophet called by God said these words, "It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord." Isaiah 6:1. Here is Isaiah following in the ways of God, and yet he didn't see God for himself until a king passed away. Sometimes we can become so accustomed to relying on people and what "they say" that they could very well be crutches in our lives. God wants us to rely totally on. God will always allow people to give us words of wisdom, and yes He will always position people in authority to teach us. That is His will. But God's will is to never make idols out of people to replace seeking Him.
Here are a few tips for following people:
1. Make sure that they follow Christ. This is a prerequisite that Jesus gave to every disciple that followed Him. Then he said to them all, "whoever wants to be my disciple, they must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23
2. We must follow people as they are following Christ. Paul, The Apostle said this, "Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ." 1st Corinthiantians 11:1 NIV. So since Jesus is the chief cornerstone (principle or primary stone) Ephesians 2:20, He is to be at the head of every person that we follow.
3. The people that we follow will bear witness of the fruits or attributes of Jesus Christ. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit." John 15:5
4. You will never have to wonder or be fooled by people when we are truly following Christ. It is in our seeking after God and following Him that makes us sensitive to His voice, His ways, and attributes. "My sheep know My voice, and a stranger they will not follow." John 10:1-5.