Following Jesus One Faltering Step at a Time

A woman stepped off an escalator at the shopping mall, paused briefly, and said to a friend who was following, “Where are we going?”

Her friend answered, “I don’t know. Where are we?”

Overhearing the conversation, I smiled, recognizing a significant life principle: we need to know where we are to figure out where we’re going.

Maybe you’ve heard this Yogi Berra-ism: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

That explains why some of us are where we are. We don’t know where we’re going!

Do you have a plan to get to where you want to be? Setting goals is easy. The challenge is developing a plan to reach them.

Jesus has a way of simplifying things. “Follow me.”

Jesus has a way of simplifying things. “Follow me.” Click To Tweet

He extends to us the same simple invitation he offered his disciples long ago.

What that means, in his own words: “…If anyone desires to be my disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]” (Matthew 16:24 Amplified).

Two aspects of following

Notice two aspects of following: cleave steadfastly and conform wholly. I had a general idea of what those words meant, but Webster’s dictionary gave clarity.

Two aspects of following Jesus: cleave steadfastly and conform wholly. Click To Tweet

Cleave: to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly.

Steadfast: firmly fixed in place, immovable, not subject to change, unwavering, unfaltering, unswerving.

Conform: to be in agreement or harmony.

Wholly: completely, to the exclusion of other things.

These words are like a mirror reflecting my commitment. Do I cleave steadfastly to Jesus, adhere firmly, loyally and unwaveringly, firmly fixed, immovable, unfaltering, unswerving? Am I conformed wholly to his example, completely in harmony with him, doing exactly what He would do?

I wish.

Learning to walk

Often my steps falter. Like a toddler learning to walk, I seem to spend more time on the ground than on foot.

Like the loving Father he is, God lifts and steadies me until I find firm footing to continue following him.

The Psalmist David said, “Uphold my steps in Your paths, That my footsteps may not slip” (Psalm 17:5 NKJV)

That’s a good daily prayer. But what if wrong reactions and bad decisions do cause my feet to slip? Answer:

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand” (Psalm 37:23-24 NKJV).

The Practice of the Presence of God explains how the beloved Brother Lawrence faced those slips: “when he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault, saying to God, I shall never do otherwise if You leave me to myself; it is You who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss…after this he gave himself no further uneasiness about it.”

My plan is to follow Jesus, wherever the path leads.

How about you? Sometimes he leads us along rocky terrain. I’d love to hear about your journey and God’s faithfulness. Hope you’ll leave a comment. And I’d be honored if you’d share this post with your friends!

© 2018 Dianne Barker


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