Why do I follow Jesus? My pastor posed that question and Sunday and I sat there and thought about it, and it has kinda been bugging me ever since.
He let a few people answer while someone else somewhat played devil's advocate, but none of the reasons really sounded like a reason I would pick. While they are were true (IE. gives us hope, gives us peace, out of fear, out of love, etc.) I couldn't say they were my reason. I couldn't identify myself with them at all.
The more I think about it, I began to ask a few questions.
Do I follow Christ because that's what my parents said was right, therefor I must?
Do I really follow Christ?
If I do follow Christ, how would I act if I were in Job's shoes (sandals?)?
Needless to say it has been interesting trying to figure it out. Here is what I have so far. Not that it is complete...and maybe its not the best reason...but here it is.
I don't have a choice. God made me in His image to have a relationship with Him. If I am not in relationship with Him then there is something missing in my life. I would not be who I was created to be. I have been at points in my life where I wanted to be outside of what God had for me, and the whole time I felt God trying to bring me back to Himself. Not with making things go bad, not with forcing things on me, no even by having people tell me I was wrong. He was just there waiting....reminding me....showing me that regardless of what I did or who I thought I wanted to be, I was created by Him, created for Him, and loved by Him for who He made me to be.
Now, I continue to follow Him out of love and am still learning what that love looks like. I am challenged to have a greater love for Him and others. I just can't say that is why I began to follow Him or why I ultimately follow Him.
As I think about it, I remember when Jesus called the disciples to follow Him. They didn't follow Him out of love, because they didn't really know who He was. He had not taught them who He was. They followed because He asked them follow Him. While they had a choice, something inside them knew that if they wanted the life God wanted for them they HAD to follow Him. It was a desire entwined with a sense of surety that what He was asking them to do was important to their lives.
So to answer my three questions... I think I do follow Christ because my parents said it was right, but that is because I believe it is right and they were influential in my having a relationship with Him. I think I do follow Christ. Day in, day out, I am constantly thinking about what He wants for me and my life. I am challenged by the people God has placed in my life and am constantly trying to learn for the story He has put me in. I don't know if I could do what Job did. I hope I could. For me looking at the story of Job reminds me that I can't follow God out of my own desires. I can't follow Him out of fear (because my biggest fears could come true), out of wanting an inner peace (because life won't be peaceful), or out of hope (because at times all hope will feel lost). I follow Him because I don't have a choice....without Him all.would.be.lost.