Did you ever play “Follow the Leader” as a child? When I taught kindergarten, it was one of the more popular games they played. Everyone wanted to be the leader and have the class follow them. The only problem with that is you can only have one leader. When more than one person would try and lead, it would cause confusion.
I was a big dancer in high school and college. One of my favorite dances was the shag. It was very popular in North Carolina, where I grew up. The only problem with the shag is most guys didn’t know how to shag. I could teach them, but then I would have to lead through the dance. I remember when I finally met a guy who knew how to shag well. We had a great time dancing, but there was one problem. He was very comfortable shagging and so he fully expected to lead in the dance. I was so used to having to lead, it was difficult for me to follow his lead. Just like with the game “Follow the Leader,” whenever we both tried to lead it caused confusion. It took time for me to learn to follow his lead. Once I did, I actually enjoyed the dance more than ever before. I could just relax and go where he led me instead of always trying to determine what move would flow next. It was very freeing.
Do you have a problem following the lead of another? When Jesus called His disciples, He didn’t say “Hey, let’s go hang out together. We’ll take turns leading where we go and what we do.” He clearly said, “Follow me.” In fact, He said it over and over [Matthew 4:19, Matthew 8:22, Matthew 9:9, Matthew 10:38, Matthew 16:24, Matthew 19:21, Mark 1:17, Mark 2:14, Mark 8:34, Mark 10:21, Luke 5:27, Luke 9:23, Luke 9:59, Luke 14:27; Luke 18:22, John 1:43; John 10:27, John 12:26; John 21:19, and John 21:22].
When someone says something more than once, it is to get your attention and drive their point home. All of scripture is God breathed [2 Timothy 3:16]. The fact that He stated something 20 times in the New Testament should be a clue to us He wants us to pay attention to it. Jesus wants us to FOLLOW HIM. Whenever we attempt to take the lead in our lives, it creates confusion and problems. There is only room for one leader in your life. You have to choose who it will be. Will it be God or will it be you?
As you grow in your Christian faith, you will develop a greater desire to lead others to Jesus so they can follow Him also. They will see Jesus in you and want to follow you because they don’t yet understand you aren’t the leader, Jesus is. Make certain you live your life following Jesus, so if you stepped out of the way and they continued on the journey, they would simply be following Jesus.
Let Luke 9:57 be your pledge to the Lord, “As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”