And then I think, is following Christ so very different? Because it shouldn't be. Much like those who enlist in the military who make a pledge to follow and agree to unconditional obedience, that's what following Jesus ought to resemble.
The bible says it like this, "bought at a price." When we say "yes" to Jesus we pretty much sign over the rights to our lives to Him. There's a popular Christian song right now that says something to the effect of "Where You go, I'll go; where You stay, I'll stay; when You move, I'll move, I will follow You." That's what saying "yes" to Jesus is supposed to be like.
And when I think about that, I think to myself, the military might be easier. Because in the military if you fail to "follow" the consequence is swift. You'll know it quickly, and you'll suffer accordingly. Getting back on track is something I'd be swiftly convinced to agree to. Not following would bring greater suffering than following, and I would acquiesce.
And in the military, I suspect the objective is clearer. Goals are defined, the desired result is more clear. I cannot always say the same when following Jesus, at least not in the way I would like to have goals, results and objectives clearly defined. In the military the picture is narrow, in Christ,the vision is broad, more broad than I can even comprehend.
Sometimes God asks
When you don't see an impact, do you do it anyway?
When you don't see a benefit, do you do it anyway?
When you can't grasp the purpose, do you do it anyway?
These are the questions I find myself struggling with.
I wrote a book. It's a good book, a story that I know has purpose and needs to be told. But I sell a couple dozen and then it seems like nothing else comes of it. And I wonder, what I felt while I was writing, the leading, the directing, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was it Him? Or was it just me?
Passion, purpose, talents and gifts-- all coming together, is it God's hand? His plan? Where are the results?
Are lives being touched?
Is it providing for my family?
Is it making an impact?
If I don't have the answers, or if the answer seems to be "no," do I do it anyway?
If it magnifies what seems NOT be happening and NOT going right in my life, but He still seems to be leading, directing, inspiring-- do I do it anyway?
I'm writing my second book-- more to the story of the first book that's "out there,"-- maybe or maybe not making a difference. It has social value, and the potential to touch a life, but I may never see it. So do I do it anyway?
The real question is, "how do I not?"
God leads, I have to follow, even if I don't understand. He never promised that I would. Even if I don't benefit, because it's not really about me. Because it might minister-- even to just one, and that is by definition what ministry is, at least the way Jesus did it.
So do I do it anyway? Yes, I must. Because it's all about Him. And if it brings Him any glory, then it was worth it.
And when I'm wondering why I'm doing it, that's what I need to remember, because following in obedience-- that honors Him.