Thought- Our proximity to Jesus determines the impact of our life.
Scripture- “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Matthew 4:19
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27
Insight: One thing I have learned in my faith walk is that Jesus will never force me to do something I don’t want to do. In other words, he will never force me to put him first in my life, to spend time in prayer, to tithe, to forgive others who have harmed me, to serve other before myself or anything else. But when I do these things, the effects are so tangible, and my life works so much better. It really shouldn’t be a surprise that proximity to Jesus, measured by time spent in His presence, is he key to a changed life. That is where we draw close to the abiding power of Jesus himself, through the Holy Spirit, and allow him to get deeply imbedded into our life which allows for the transformational process to begin. Change cannot happen without proximity, or time spent, with the King of Kings. But when we do put Jesus first, or entire being will be transformed, including our hearts, souls and mind.
When we read the scriptures, we notice when Jesus “called” the Disciples, he did so with the command to “follow me.” He knew that as Peter, Andrew, John, James, Philip and the rest of them began to spend time in His presence, His eternal purpose would begin to permeate their very beings and they would be very much changed by simply “following Him.” Notice Jesus did not say at first to His disciples “believe in me,” but rather simply “follow me.” He never mentioned His lordship, He simply invited them to spend time with him. The same is true today, even for unbelievers, which the early disciples were as well. Simply follow Him and see what happens. As the Disciples did, their lives began to be radically transformed. They saw miracles, signs of power, tenderness, humility, wisdom, forgiveness and healing. Yet, even then they still had questions, doubts, fears and misunderstandings. This should give us hope in our own faith journeys. It will never be made perfectly clear or doubt free. We are human and we are limited in our understanding. Jesus’s Kingdom is an upside-down Kingdom, 180 degrees opposite of the world we live in. We don’t need to be firm believers to begin a journey with Jesus, we simply need to follow him. Jesus will take care of the rest from there. Make him your highest priority, spent time in close proximity to him, and see how much he changes you from the inside out.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for your Son Jesus who is worthy of following. When we do, our lives are transformed for the better as He helps us live a life filled with great adventure. We need to take the first step and draw closer to him, and as we draw closer we will experience His life changing power in ways we could never imagine. Amen!