It’s the most riveting thing in the world to follow God! In Matthew 4:19 Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” When you follow Jesus, He will make you a fisher of men. Your action verb is to FOLLOW. His action verb is to MAKE.
In Joshua 1:10-11 we read that “Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’” Get ready Agathos! God’s going somewhere and He wants us to get ready. Remember, God works on people; His focus of influence is individual. This is why we will all stand before God individually in front of His throne. Our church will come with Him if EACH person comes with Him.
Peter’s life and his history of following Jesus provide an illustrative example. Following Christ always means stopping following something else. Peter chose Jesus. He could honestly tell Jesus that he had “left everything” to follow Christ. He forsook all. He left his nets. Nevertheless, Jesus said to Peter, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’” (Mark 8:34) There was something going on in Peter’s heart to which Jesus was saying “I know you think you want to follow Me, but you want to follow your version of Me.”
In John 13:37, Peter asks Jesus “Lord, why can I not follow You?” If we follow Him, He will make us fishers of men, but Jesus says, “If you want to come after Me” you need to (1) deny yourself, (2) take up your cross, and (3) follow Me. You have to do a “denying” and a “taking up” before you can do a following. Eventually Peter’s shadow healed all it touched, but at this point Peter had not left this one idea about who the Messiah ought to be to him!
In all of our genuineness, why can’t we follow Jesus sometimes? There are three hindrances that can exist in our hearts to keep us from actually following Jesus. These are blind spots. Peter was genuine, but he couldn’t follow Jesus because of a mindset. Peter had not denied his own ideas, taken up his cross, and actually followed the real Jesus.
(1) The first hindrance is being given to the opinions of people. John 5:44 says, “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” If satan can’t control you, he will seek to control you through people.
(2) The second hindrance is riches. The Word of God is clear: “you cannot serve both God and Mammon.” Mammon is controlling a lot of believers. We want to be in the flow of realizing that God will supply for you supernaturally to create flexibility in order that you can accomplish His Great Commission.
(3) A third hindrance is self-preservation, or as Mark 4:18-19 calls it “the desire for other things.” You have to leave something in order to follow a new thing. If you will follow Christ, I can promise you what He will do: He will make you a fisher of men! But you cannot follow two things simultaneously: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.” (Mt. 6:24) We all want to serve God, so let’s remove any hindrances!