Rev Simon leads us to reflect on these teachings.
What does it mean to follow someone in Facebook?
According to the Facebook Help Centre, when you follow someone, you will see his activities in your News Feed. In your daily moments with your Facebook account, you are likely able to see him liking, commenting and sharing articles, pictures and videos. For those that you like you even keep them in your timeline so that those you follow can see them too.
Now, what if Jesus had a Facebook account?
When you “follow” Jesus Christ, you will receive notifications beeps whenever He posts comments or pictures. You click to see what He wrote: “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” Like it or Comment?
What about His other post that day? “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” What will be your response? Share this?
Who is a follower?
A follower is different from a fan. Putting a fish-shaped bumper sticker or setting a worship song as your mobile ringtone does not qualify you as a follower.
Jesus is not looking for fans. He does not need to have the largest following on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. He is looking for followers who are fully devoted and completely committed to Him, His course and His Kingdom.
Fans do not mind a little touch-up work in their lives from Jesus. But Jesus is not into small projects. He does overhauls and flips followers’ lives.
So, are you a fan or a follower?
Keep the main thing the main thing
What is the main thing? Stephen Covey said the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. The question is what is the main thing if I want to keep the main thing the main thing?
Is it about retiring comfortably? How about being successful in your career? What about a second property? Or a bigger car? Or how about one or two holidays to exotic destinations every year?
Jesus gave His reply in Matthew 6:33. It says: “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Putting Jesus first
1. Place Jesus in the highest place in your life
The “high places” in the Old Testament were positions or regions dedicated to the gods who people worshipped, served and swore their allegiance to. It was sacred and influential, and touched the people in every part of their lives. Unfortunately, it was usually also a place of idolatry.
In modern times, “high places” still exist in our lives but in other forms that are seemingly harmless. Many people love to go on short vacations, and some even plan these trips an entire year in advance! The lure of a new holiday destination becomes worse with the cheap air tickets, swanky new resorts, and favorable foreign exchange rates—all these factors can become residents in the high places of our lives if we do not guard our hearts and allow the devil to sneak them into our lives.
What occupies the high place in your heart? It may not be travel, but it could be a person, a goal or a habit. Does it exert its authority on your life, possessing all your love, affections and passions? If your high place is not Jesus, it is time to tear it down.
2. Remove all the clutter in your life
In our lifetime, we have knowingly or unknowingly picked up unnecessary activities, earthly possessions, habits and attitudes.
There is always a reason to justify why one should pick up the ancient Hebrew language, or learn to use an old school camera or take part in every marathon. The calibrating question to constantly go back to is: “What is the main thing in your life?”
3. When Jesus is first you live as second
Mark 12:30 says: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment.
This could mean taking an early exit on a Saturday night from an enjoyable dinner gathering so that you can be prepared for Sunday service. This gets tougher if you are preaching!
It takes submission, persistence and humility to hand over the key to Jesus, who now navigates your life choices and direction. Putting yourself below Christ, living a ‘I am second’ lifestyle probably takes a while to adjust to but those who have done it have declared it as a great way to live.
What do you have to lose? For one, you will never lose your life. As John 12:25 says: “For anyone who loves his life will lose it, while anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
Living a life fully dependent on Christ means you are living an abundant life. Remember every cross has a resurrection, and every denial of yourself results in a new self.
About Rev Simon Ang
Rev Simon Ang pastors Moriah Assembly of God. He also serves as the General Secretary of the Assemblies of God, Singapore Executive Committee.