Return to the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus.
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: (1 Peter 2:21)
A real Christ Follower is someone following in His footsteps.
There are some of us who really desire to preach the gospel and see lives and communities transformed, but we think we don't have the opportunity given to us. We tend to blame family commitments, church leaders and pastors for this. We think we are called of God and this is affirmed by some friends and relatives who prophecy over you and say things such as "You are anointed to be a preacher brother" or "I see you planting churches", and some others even address you as "Pastor" and so on. Such words only make things worse because you hope and wait and hope and wait....and the years and months go by.
Often times, this is because we have the wrong picture of what a Christ Follower looks like. We think preaching the gospel from a pulpit to hundreds and thousands of people, being somebody recognized, being a guest speaker at a conference, etc is doing something significant for God. We think a real Christ Follower must be someone popular, who has written a few books and who does nothing else but spends time preparing sermons, traveling around and preaching to large congregations. The attention and the life style seems more appealing than the simple fulfilment of serving God.
But following in Christ's footsteps looks a lot different. He spent more time with the lost, the poor and the rejected. He was rejected Himself.
Look at the world around you. Statistics reveal the vast majority of the lost world live in poverty. Its a small minority that actually live in affluence. The vast majority of unreached and lost people in this world (for whom the Lord Jesus laid down His life) actually live in poverty. Millions live on less than 60 cents to a dollar a day. You want to be a real Christ Follower? You want to really make your life significant? You want to really preach the gospel and see lives and communities transformed? Then know these things...
When your faith in God is all about your healing, your financial blessings, your comfort, your relationships, your spouse, your job, your prosperity.....then you probably are following someone pretending to be Christ. Christ's footsteps look very different. He embraced suffering because He knew He was not of this world after all. He spent most of His time with the poor, with sinners and the rejected one's. He rebuked those who appeared to know everything and did nothing. He rebuked those who held their head high because of how much they knew or how popular they were. He rebuked those who thought they were somebody and went around thinking they were doing God's will, whilst having no love towards the poor.
The success of a church is measured by the visible and tangible transformations in communities. Not by the size of crowds. We as Christians are being transformed into His likeness. We all believe that. But if we are being transformed into His likeness, shouldn't we also be living like He did? Else...the transformation isn't working.
A real Christ follower follows in Christ's footsteps. We are truly blessed to have a beautiful church with awesome worship and great facilities to go to. Not many do. But don't be deceived into thinking that by lights, music, smoke machines and inspiring messages, the people are being transformed friends. Spend time in His word. The Bible. Know Him for yourselves. Be a Christ follower because that's how you became a child of God. Remain one.
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.
True freedom is freedom from self-centeredness. Dying to yourself, your wants, your desires and to what gives you pleasure for the sake of others is more liberating than you think.