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January 29, 2017

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He Arose and Followed Him

"As he walked along, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax collector's booth. 'Follow me,' Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him." Mark 2:14

Jesus was in the beginning of His ministry, performing miracles of healing, and meeting the needs of the people when He confronted Levi [Matthew] and said to him, "Follow me."

I'm sure Matthew had seen Christ minister to the people and saw in Him the hope that his heart longed for, the One sent from God. Matthew immediately left his post, followed the Lord and became one of His disciples.

What does it mean to follow Him, to be His disciple? Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. We think we have to do exceptional things for God. We do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be "holy" in difficult circumstances among difficult people. Jesus said, "I have chosen you." We can disobey His call, but we can't generate it. He supernaturally draws us to Himself by the Holy Spirit.

But what qualifies a person to be a disciple? This perplexes many people. Actually, it's our nothingness! There's nothing within our being that qualifies us to be chosen by God to be His disciple.

Only coming as we are in complete dependence upon Him can God clothe us with His sufficiency. Why? That no flesh should glory in his presence. "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God, that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption." God is not interested in who we are, or what we have, or the gifts we possess. He who calls us to walk, to live, and to serve will also equip us in all things so that we may be fruitful in our service and glorify Him in our life. How quickly we forget that.

Saul is a good illustration of this. You can read Saul's attitude by what he says to Samuel: "The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest."

Look closely at Saul's thinking; Saul called "good" what God condemned. He wanted to sacrifice to God that which God hated. Saul usurped the authority and sovereignty of God by doing it "his way." He disregarded God's command by inserting his own will.

Samuel answered Saul, "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams." Obedience must take precedence in all of our actions.

Why do we insist on doing things our way? Because we do not want to submit our will to the control and authority of God. The last thing we want to "let go" is the control of our lives. Simple obedience is submission and surrender to His will. To be a disciple begins with the Lord being in control of ALL of our life. Someone has wisely said, "If Christ is not the Lord of all, He is not the Lord at all." It is not natural for us to surrender our will to His. That's why discipleship is "supernatural." It is the work of the Holy Spirit probing our hearts and drawing us to Himself. Then melting and molding our lives that we might be channels through which His Spirit can flow fully. Discipleship demands commitment, discernment, and dedication.

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.


This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-01-29


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