Have you ever played Follow the Leader? Do you prefer to be the leader or the follower?
It has been said, “Where there is a void of leadership, Susan will step in.” I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I don’t have to be in charge, but I like to know that someone is running things.
When I lead, I like to have a plan. For example, when I take a short term mission team into the field, I hold multiple training meetings. I like to educate them on where they’re going, how to prepare, and what to bring. I tend to over pack when I’m in charge, making sure I not only have what I need for the trip but extra supplies for my team members that may not be as prepared as they need to be.
The first time I went on a mission trip, I wasn’t the team leader. It was great. I simply followed. I showed up when I was told, did what I was asked, packed what I was told and really didn’t have to deal with any stress. It was easier. I was able to soak everything up, build relationships, and simply follow the leader.
If following is so much easier and stress free, then why do most people have trouble doing it where Jesus is concerned? We say we want to be like the disciples and follow Him, yet we keep trying to grab the reigns to our life out of His hands [Matthew 4:19].
It all boils down to trust. We have to fully trust Jesus with our lives and believe He has our best interest at heart in order to follow Him. When we do, we can go blindly wherever He leads us, like Paul.
1 Corinthians 16:5-9 says,
After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you– for I will be going through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay with you awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.” [Italics mine]
Paul had no clear word on where he was going or how long he’d stay. He simply shared with the Corinthians what he hoped would happen. However, he was fully relying on the Lord to order his steps and direct his path. That’s faith. Some would call it blind faith. Yet this type of faith in Jesus is what leads to a stress-free life.
Are you willing to be like Isaiah and raise your hand for an unknown assignment [Isaiah 6:8]? Or will you trust Him? God is searching the earth, looking for those who are sold out, willing to go wherever He directs and do whatever He asks [2 Chronicles 16:9]. Will you fall in line? Will you allow Him to be the leader and you the follower? The stress load is less when you follow and there can only be one leader. Who is it going to be?
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