Jesus Said, “Follow Me!”

For the past 9+ years, I have been trying to run our family’s business as a platform for ministry. I jumped when I heard Jesus say,”Follow me!” To be honest, it has been much more difficult than I thought it would be. In fact, there have been times I have seriously questioned Him about the difficulties.

follow me

Path Is Not Easy

If you have ever tried to do work for Jesus – whether in the church, in the community, in the business world, or in the foreign mission field – you have met challenges and difficulties. This path is not an easy one and in many ways, we understand that going in.

At the same time, I often find myself questioning this path. While I know there will be trouble, I still have this picture of what I think the results will look like. I still have a sort of “end of the rainbow” mentality that says if I will just persevere, all will end up like a fairy tale!

Worth It?

What I often allow to drive me is the belief that all the trouble is worth it as long as I end up at the picture I have imagined is the end of the path. Does this ever happen to you? Do you ever have these feelings?

One problem with this line of thinking is that the picture I have imagined is hardly ever the picture that God has in mind. I think the results will look one way and He has something totally different in mind. My frustration begins when the path I am on begins to veer away from the path I had pictured.

“Wait God! Aren’t we supposed to be heading that way over there?” I imagine He smiles and then continues leading me away from my picture and toward His. When I am close to Him in relationship, I can handle this. When I have strayed a little, this part is really tough.

Tougher Problem!

However, I will tell you that I have a much easier time in handling a different picture than I do with another problem that crops up. This other problem is all about timing.

See, in this other situation, the path does not necessarily head off in a different direction than I had originally imagined. The problem instead is that it appears to go nowhere at all! That is because, with this problem, it appears that I am supposed to wait on Him.

I cannot tell if I am on the path headed to where I imagined or somewhere else that He has in mind. I cannot tell because I AM NOT MOVING! I feel like I am smack in the middle of Groundhog Day, the movie, and every day is the same as the one before.

Stuck?

I feel like I am stuck and cannot seem to catch a break to move forward at all. This problem seems to plague me more than any other. Maybe it is because I am impatient. Maybe it is a control thing. Maybe it is a combination of these and other issues God is trying to force me to deal with.

Whatever it is, I really have a hard time with this one.

I like progress. I like to be moving forward and seeing forward motion. I do not like to be stuck, sitting still, apparently going nowhere. I KNOW the Scripture that I SHOULD be reciting, but it is still difficult for me to handle. I know that God’s timing is not mine, but I still struggle!

I Finally Broke!

I recently had an “episode” or “tantrum” when I was away at a meeting. I was surrounded by a huge group of like-minded businessmen that were doing incredible things with their businesses to impact people for eternity. I am not talking about 5 or 10 people. I am not talking about just in their community.

No, these Christian business leaders are having an impact on thousands all over the globe – the very things that I have imagined God would be using ME to do as well! [Note: I recognize some of this IS happening in our business, but you have to bear with me...I am having an immature moment here! Likely, you've never done this!]

I listened and listened, but I finally broke. I finally got off by myself and questioned God directly. I asked why things were so hard in our business. I asked why we were not seeing the progress we wanted to see. I wanted to know why these other businesses were put in a position to impact so many and we were stuck. I asked over and over, “WHY?”

No answer. Nothing.

At least not right then.

As is common with Him, He just listened.

And waited.

He Finally Answered!

It was not until almost a week later when I was sitting in church that He gave me the answer to my questions. When He gave it to me, it was one of those moments that sticks with you. It was one of those moments that you just cannot get out of your mind.

I will not go into the detail of the whole message, but I will describe the setting of the Scripture He used to get my attention.

Follow Me!

Jesus has just asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Each time, Peter tells Jesus that he loves Him! Each time, Jesus then says for Peter to feed his sheep. Then Jesus foretells the manner in which Peter will die. He ends by telling Peter, “Follow Me!”

Jesus has basically given Peter his marching orders and Peter is trying to understand exactly what it means. Maybe he is even asking himself what it will cost him. I don’t know.

Whatever the case, Peter’s next question resembles the questions I was asking God earlier. He points to John and asks Jesus, “What about him?” Essentially, He basically wanted to know what Jesus was going to have John doing while all of this was happening to Peter.

My Answer

It was Jesus’ response to Peter that made my hair stand on end. It caught in my throat and took my breath. As I heard the pastor read it and followed along with him, I instantly knew God was using this passage to answer my earlier questions.

“If I want him to remain until I come,” Jesus answered, “what is that to you? As for you, follow Me.”

To Be Continued…

When Jesus said, “Follow Me!” to you, what did you think it would look like?

Has His call to “Follow Me!” turned out the way you expected?

How do you react when His “Follow Me!” takes you where you do not want to be?


Similar Posts:

Print Friendly

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Send Gmail Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • http://www.coachbrown.org/ Coach Brown

    I truly understand. You cannot fully realize what He has been doing in your life until you have been cutoff by choices and consequences. Yet in the midst of the chaos and confusion we sense – the battle in our soul – we hear “Be still, and know I am God; I will be exalted among the Nations… (Ps 46:10) Then I hear Him say, “don’t quit, don’t fret and fuss, finish the race that I have set before you!” (my take on Heb 12:1-2). We may not know what challenges lie ahead, but faith demands we run the race not to be better or first, but to finish to the applause of ONE! This is the lesson my life has taught me.

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      Good points, Coach. Thanks!

  • Rajeev

    I was Preaching In Our Church This Sunday Much Similar Message . Looking Forward to Follow Up Ahead !!

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      Thanks Rajeev!

  • Chris Lutz

    Chris…thanks for your transparency in this post, that alone is encouraging for me to read. How profound those two simple words are. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      You are welcome, Chris! I hope you and your family are doing well.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    Definitely “get” what you’re going through here, Chris. So many times my expectations have led me down a wrong path, and God gently realigns my thinking and planning with what He knows is best. I have gone from being a huge planner of all the details to trusting Him to plan for me, well at least more than I used too. Old habits are hard to break, that’s for sure. Just this week His “follow me” took me where I didn’t want to be. I had two choices, both good, and one was something I’d been wanting the opportunity to do for a long time. The other choice involved a very important relationship. Oooh… that was tough. I had to ask, “Why something that I’ve been wanting to do?” Rough day spiritually for sure. But I made what I feel is the right decision (after asking two trusted spiritual advisers) and am still waiting to know (feel) it was right… to know for sure I followed him. Tough stuff, Chris, but it’s the path of righteousness and perfection.

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      I am sure you will find that you did the right thing. Good job, Kari!

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        Thanks for the vote of confidence Chris. I’m still doubting, but the HS is working on me there. Look forward to reading about your progress. Supporting you in spirit!

  • ACalltoLeadership

    Your message today has a special meaning for me today. I have always believed that God had a plan for me and that the Holy Spirit was guiding my steps. I have always tried to follow a different and more Christ-like path through a secular world. I have tried to listen for the direction of God in my life and to faithfully follow his desire even when the path was unexpected.

    While I have been successful in business over the years, the past 10 years have been full of fits and starts, high places and low places, doors closing on my direction as quickly as they opened. Your “Groundhog Day” metaphor is a perfect introspective of how I feel. Back in my younger days as a lifeguard at the local pool, we had to tread water for 30 minutes for training, I feel like I have been treading water for 10 years but with an ever so slight current pushing away from the side of the pool.

    As my wife will tell you, patience is not a virtue of which I possess much. I too, feel a passion, a calling, to make a difference to others. However, I question is this a desire of mine or is it a calling which God has for me. It is easy to self-centeredly believe that God wants this or that for me, from me when it may actually be ego telling you what you want to hear. We need to have the patience and faithfulness to listen intently to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit directing us. Not an easy thing for me.

    I pray for you, myself and all the others that struggle with needing and wanting to hear in loud acclamation God’s intention for our lives. I do know however, For everything there is a season, and seasons do change. God will plant us where and when he needs us. As much as we want to be a great instrument of change and transformation for God, sometimes we need to accept, as in your post, maybe God doesn’t need another Peter, He needs us to be another John, for another day, for another mission, to follow him when He calls our name. The blessing that you become to others today, may appear to be small in the present but may lead to greater works through God later.

    Treading water seemed like a boring and meaningless activity when you are made to do it for practice. However, in lifesaving, it is a strength and a skill that proves to be invaluable when the time comes, to save your own life as well as the lives of others. Maybe all those hours treading water then were preamble to “treading water” now, preparing for my call to action and that small current that is leading me away from the safety of the shore is the Holy Spirit directing me to where I am needed.

    “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.” 2 Thessalonians 1:10-12

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      Sounds like we have experienced parallel lives in some ways! I love the “treading water for 10 years!” comment…absolutely captures the feeling!

      I pray for you as well. Thank you so much for your heart-felt comments. It is comforting to me when someone connects with what I am experiencing and can communicate how they have experienced the very same struggle.

  • drjimharris

    Another great post Chris. You continue to lead the way for all believers whose heart is to glorify God in their businesses. David also questioned God, and oh, to have the heart of David. Keep running the race my friend – finish strong!

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      You are kind, Jim! Thanks for your encouragement!

  • Pingback: 3 Lessons From "Follow Me!" | Christian Faith At Work