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What does it take to follow Jesus?

The call to follow Christ is not one that needs a lot of preparation and thought.  It doesn’t require hours and hours of study for someone to be used powerfully by God.  And one doesn’t need to spend thousands of dollars on an education to make sure your know enough to be useful to God.  We live in a society that has pushed you to learn and prepare so that you are useful.  And while education and study are definitely imporant and have their place, they are not what is needed for one to be used by God.  To often we allow ourselves to think that we are not ready, or we don’t know enough, or we are not prepared to say yes when God calls.  I have been guilty of this same thought myself over the years.  

When I was first asked to teach sunday school years ago my first thought was ‘what do I know?’  I felt unqualified, and ill prepared to stand before a group of kids and teach them.  Thankfully I didn’t allow the feelings to hold me back and at the encouragment of those leading me I stepped into the role.  The problem is many Christians today in North America hold back in so many ways because they feel the same.  I was truly humbled by the young men and women I met while traveling overseas who were simply doing what was in front of them every day to the best they knew how and they were leading people to Christ and leading churches, and many were fresh off the streets themselves.  All they knew was God was able, Jesus saves and what God had done for them He wanted to do for others.  And as they were the oldest Christian they were in charge.

When I talk with people here about leading small groups, or house churches I usually get the same response I had when asked to teach sunday school.  People say ‘I’m not ready’, or ‘I don’t know enough’ or ‘What if I get asked something I can’t answer?’.  And all of the responses usually revolve around knowing and preparing enough to perform.  And as a result we miss out completely on seeing God do something in our lives and moving on the people we encounter each day.

Wolfgang Samson wrote “The core followers of Christ have found that following Him is not about having sufficient academic and statistical proof before they act; rather, it is about having the faithful and obedient desire to follow God’s Word and do what He said, no matter what, when, where, or who has gone before.”

Everyone who has ever been used of God has had to come to the place where they realized the fact that ‘God is able, and God is faithful, and Jesus wants to be known’.  

Everything God calls us to do and to be stems from His ability and not ours. We will never know enough or be prepared enough to be used by God. In fact most of the people God used were the unlearned and ill prepared. Just look at the original twelve disciples. Not one of them was considered to be the cream of society and not one was educated in any way. What set them apart was the willingness to follow and the relationship they had with God. They knew God was able to do all things, that God was wanting to use them, and He would be faithful to stand behind everything He called them to do. And so they went trusting in God’s ability instead of their own. 

For us to be used by God we have to come to the same place. The place where saying yes to what God wants doesn’t hinge on our ability but on His. Once we do we can truly see mountains move.  Everything is dependent on Him and on our willingness to simply follow where He leads.

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