My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (John 10:27
What does it take to follow Jesus? What kind of resolve? What type of commitment? What type of personal sacrifice? Let’s look at what the first four disciples had to do:
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-22)
Put yourself in their positions. These were young men that had been trained from a young age to be fishermen. They were in a family business. What do you think their family (such as Zebedee the father) thought about this? The young men were obviously religious. What do you think their religious leaders thought about this? Here is what I have learned over the years. If you want to follow Jesus, you have to be willing to leave. You have to be willing to leave family traditions, leave religious traditions, and leave old friendships.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:34-38)
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. (Matthew 19:29)
Thankfully, this is not always necessary but most of the times it is. It was for me. I had to leave some very old friendships or I would have been sucked right back into a world of alcohol. I had to leave the Christian denomination that my parents grew up in. You will be ridiculed and rejected by certain people, especially family members. Jesus said that would happen and He was exactly right. You just have to realize that following Jesus is not always going to be easy. Religion and family traditions are two of the hardest areas to break free of but you must do it in many instances to follow Him. You have to understand that the traditions of man make the Word of God of no effect and you have to make a decision on whether you are going to worship your ancestors or worship God.
Thus you are nullifying and making void and of no effect [the authority of] the Word of God through your tradition, which you [in turn] hand on. And many things of this kind you are doing. (AMPC Bible)
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you quit loving or honoring your parents. What I am saying is that you have to make your own decisions as an adult and following Jesus is one of those decisions that is very important for you and your family, especially in the times that we live in.
I can truthfully say that I have not regretted one minute of walking with Jesus. It has been an adventure!!! There is no drug or drink that can match experiencing the anointing of God. To see people saved, healed, baptized, and set free from bondages is a high that can not be matched by anything this world has to offer. Hearing God’s voice is something that cannot be matched by anything man has to offer. It has been, and is, worth it all!!!!!!!!!!!
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)