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{Lessons Learned} When Jesus Calls, Follow

Posted on: January 24th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 3 Comments

We’re called to follow Jesus daily through every little intricacy life has to offer.

But there are times Jesus calls us to follow Him to do something much bigger, something that will alter the course of our lives.

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I have two such events in my life.

The first was the call to love and forgive Anthony, the man who murdered my dad.

The second was to write about this experience––both on this blog and to begin writing a book––to show others just what God can do when we choose to follow Him.

Now, you would think the difficulty came when called to interact with the man who murdered my dad. But when Jesus beckoned me to follow Him toward forgiveness––which I knew would require that I delve into the deepest, darkest parts of my soul––I was given grace to follow immediately, without reservation, without rebellion, without questioning Jesus or reasoning with Him. The outcome, as you may know, was mind-blowing. (If you have yet to read about what God did through this journey toward forgiveness, read here or here, along with many other posts on this blog.)

But when I was called to write––I hate to admit this––but I fought Jesus with all I had.

Now, oddly enough, it’s not that I did not want to write––I enjoy writing. It’s not that I did not want to share my testimony––I wanted to share, I wanted the whole world to know what God had done. It’s not that I did not want to bring glory to God, for that’s the sole driving force behind all that I do. In fact, I want my life to be a huge banner pointing to the glory of God as a follower of Christ.

I think, perhaps, it was fear that hindered me from following right away.

Honestly, when called to write, I knew God was placing His call on my life. It was what He wanted me to do. Forgiving Anthony felt more like a task (which is a bad way to look at it, I know). But the call to write required a lifelong commitment to my calling, which intimidated me.

When called to write, I thought I had submitted myself to Jesus, but soon, it became clear that I was still holding on to part of my life. I still wanted to control my future. I knew then, as I do now, that He would lead me to great things, things beyond my wildest imagination. But obeying still proved to be difficult.

Finally, after months of wrestling with God, I agreed, and I began to write. During my quiet time with Jesus, He pointed me to Matthew 21:28-31:

“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?”They said, “The first”….

Jesus was telling me: Yes, you’ve fought me. Yes, you’ve been rebellious, but now… now, you are on the right path. You are doing your Father’s will. 

It would have been so much easier to simply follow Jesus when He originally called. How we begin our race, however, isn’t nearly as important as how we finish. What, ultimately, matters is where we find ourselves on our last day.

We are to run this race well, as Paul says. We’re to fight the good fight of faith, but in order to do that, we must follow Jesus. He is our Good Shepherd who guides us along the difficult, narrow path leading us to the gates of eternity.

One thing is clear. We cannot accomplish this apart from Jesus.

So, when Jesus calls, follow. [Tweet that]

{When Jesus calls, follow.}

Share your testimony. How has following Jesus impacted your life?

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  • Following Jesus has given me a hope that even in the bad times it will all work out for good. He promises that in Romans 8:28. It has also given me joy in that, although I am a black-hearted sinner Jesus died for me, extended his unconditional love and grace, so that I may spend eternity with Him.
    I remember to thank Him whenever I see the sunshine, nature, my children’s faces, the love in my husband’s eyes. I know that without Him, none of this would be possible.
    I am also convicted immediately when I screw up. I hate that I offended my heavenly Father and ask for His forgiveness.

    • LaurieCoombs

      Amen.