ED's Devos: Lead and I'll Follow
Jamie Grace sings a lot of encouraging, spectacular Christian songs that are amazing and uplifting. I love her song "You Lead". To me there is a significance surrounding this song that spurs on a heart-felt emotion to give my whole life to the Lord and allow Him to lead me wherever I am meant to be and to go.
Like Jonah and the great whale, I am often one to run away from God's instructions because I see that my way is better, and far less dangerous and hard. Unlike Jonah, however, I don't have to spend time in the belly of the whale, but there are other ways the Lord grabs my attention when I refuse to follow along with this plan.
"The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”
Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.”
Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
In the end, Jonah realized that with God he could do what the Lord was calling him to do, and thus he went to do the work of the Lord. Did he do it the first time he was told? No. Kind of like us as little kids when our parents ask us to do something, but instead we refuse until we get smacked. Well, Jonah didn't get smacked, but he did get a pretty odd wake-up call, which ended up leading him to the realization that God's will always prevails.
Also, going along with my theme of leading and following (inspired by Jamie Grace), another story that comes to the top of my thoughts when God's leading us comes into play is that section of the Bible where he converses with the fishermen.
The Calling of the First Disciples
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.-Matthew 4:18-21Man, I love that!. Chills me to the bone every time I read it. Fishers of men...whoa! Do you think that's how we should be living out very lives daily? Giving up everything to follow Jesus? I don't mean your earthly possessions, because some of them could be blessings that He has directly given to you. That would be like throwing them at His face. But if he did call you to give them all up, would you? I know I would have to think about that. Give everything up for the unknown?
Maybe He's not just talking about materialistic "giving up", but maybe a spiritual one. Are you willing to lay down your self and give up all that garbage that's weighing you down so you can freely follow Jesus? Even then, I think I would still have troubles with that. I am not perfect. I know giving all my garbage up would be difficult. Following and leaving it all behind, because it's all I know would be hard too. But when God calls us to do something, we have a choice-either do it or you don't. God's not going to hate you, but He will be disappointed.
We are called to follow. God is destined to lead. So when he leads, we should follow. And like Jamie Grace sings, His hands are our tomorrow. If we don't follow him daily spiritually who knows where we'll be.
And if you have never seen Starlings, I suggest you watch this video of them. I love how they ebb and flow with each other in synchronized harmony. They do it effortlessly. And, to me, it was a fantastic example of how we are to let God lead while we follow. If we do, we could harmonize beautifully too!