Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Being Godly Followers

Below is an article from a brother Andrew. I am sure who wouldn't mind me posting his article. Good read.

Thanks for the link.

Being Godly Followers

Generally speaking, we people are more natural followers than leaders.

From the beginning when we enter into this world, we learn to follow our parents. Gradually as we grow up, we enter into school where we learn to follow.

For the men in Singapore, we enter into national service where we are trained to follow. Eventually, we enter into the workforce and again we follow our bosses.

Taking it further, we are consciously or unconsciously subjected to the dictatorship of our government. And you guess it right… We follow again.

Why be a follower

Being a follower is not necessary a bad thing. In fact, being a good follower is important for any system or organisation to function and progress.

In the Bible, scriptures teach us to submit to authorities placed above us as purposed by God. And in the Body of Christ, we are encouraged to obey our leaders and submit to their authority so that their work would be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage for us (c.f. Hebrews 13:17).

Hence, we can conclude that to submit and to follow is not just about loving and respecting your “neighbour”, but it also concerns the advancement of God’s work and purpose through the Body or any system and organisation.

Biblically, unity and cohesiveness leads to godly and optimised performance- His results.

Therefore, understanding and embracing our respective roles and purpose will help us to follow and contribute to the common vision or goal of the Body.

Don’t be a blind follower

Paradoxically, we as Christians are called and destined to be leaders. As we follow God and His word, leadership becomes a responsibility to undertake as we grow in our service to God and people.

But as followers of Christ, we lead by example with a Christ-like life and setting the standard for morality, character, attitude, competence in our field of work and excellence in how we live out God’s will.

However, knowingly or unknowingly, we have become natural “followers” with our “herd” mentality shaped by our environment and not the word of God. This is the go-with-the flow mindset or the go-with-the-majority approach.

Below are some of the wrong reasons of following:

  1. To gain acceptance by fitting in and by not being seen as out of place or deem different
  2. To feel secure with the sense of belonging developed by “going with the flow” or maintaining the status quo
  3. To win love by pursuing the approval and meeting expectations of others
  4. Just plain laziness, ignorance or out of fear in order to avoid hassle, trouble or conflict

Following God first

Personally, following for the wrong reasons is not only unhealthy, but unbiblical. God commands us to love Him with all our hearts, our soul and our MINDS- to know why we do what we do. It may seem safe or the easy-way-out by just following, but eventually it will lead to disastrous consequences.

For certain, this will not produce true leaders in the Kingdom of God. And we can also observe this problem in the corporate world with our government encouraging entrepenuership among Singaporeans.

Therefore, if not careful, we may find ourselves following for all the wrong reasons with God not even in the picture in our obedience. And this is what we usually term as “blind obedience”.

Ultimately, you and I need to know and to be fully aware that we need to follow God first. And that is by obeying His word and walking in His ways first before anything or anyone else.

“We love because he first loved us” ~ 1 John 4:19

Our obedience has to spring from our love-relationship we share with God. And of cos, our following plans and actions has to be undergirded with His love.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see all these details being posted on the internet. I just heard about this from a Hope member. I am an ex-Hope member and was with Hope Bangkok International Fellowship for several years.

Hearing this news prompt me to share this dream I had while there in Thailand, that's still very vivid in my mind.

One night I dreamt a girl was walking along the road. There were many large snakes around her but somehow she couldn't see them as they seemed to be very well camourflaged or blended into the environment. In fact, they even looked beautiful or colorful. Hence, even though the girl should naturally feel afraid, she was not since she couldn't see the snakes.

The girl entered a house and although she closed the door behind her, one of the snakes followed her and crept into the house. When she discovered the snake was in the house, she hid inside the wardrobe.

What does this dream mean? I've shared it with many people after I had the dream.

I believe that the girl represents God's people. There are many elements/bad influence of the devil around us (in the media, movies, music, our own ambitions etc) but we do not seem to sense them as they are very well camorflaged. Hence we are deceived as we see nothing wrong with them.

The snake following the girl into the house represent us allowing these bad elements/influences/sin to come into our lives and/or into the church.

We may realize we have allowed sin into our lives/church, like the girl, we hide from it instead of confronting it.

I hope what has happened in Hope these past few months can serve as a wake up call for God's people. Remember Revelations 2. Do not be like the church of Ephesus.

'I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false.. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love."

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