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Follow Me: The Invitation

I don’t have a lot of vivid memories from my childhood. Most of the ones I do have are filled with snippets of time with my family: vacations, summers at my grandparent’s pool, and silly fights with my brother over who won whatever game we were playing.

The rest of my vivid childhood memories revolve around Jesus. The hot summer afternoon following Vacation Bible School when I sat on the stairs with Shirley Tatro and asked Jesus to be my Savior is the most vivid of all. But the evening at church camp I mentioned a few months ago, when I told the Father I would be a missionary, is a close second. Even though I was young, I meant those words with all my heart. I remember feeling a stirring in my soul that required a response.

Have you ever felt something move in your soul that spurred a desire to act? I don’t mean an emotion-induced feeling. What I’m describing is a deep pull that is personal and bigger than you. It often feels too large or beyond your abilities, like something you would never dream possible. Again, not an emotional stirring; it’s more like a personal invitation.

Maybe, like with me, it happened while you were listening to the testimony of a fellow believer. Perhaps it was during worship at church or after hearing a pastor preach a message that seemed written specifically for you. Often, moments that stir within us the need for a response come through times of prayer and Scripture study. Many times, the same invitation seems to keep popping up over and over as we spend time with the Lord.

As I’ve contemplated that evening at church camp so long ago, it takes me back to the passage from Matthew we looked at last month. (If you didn’t read that blog, check it out Here.

“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, [Jesus] saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, in the boat with Zebedee, their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”

Matthew 4:18-22 (ESV)

Last month we discussed that Jesus sees us and takes notice, even when we’re just going about our everyday unextraordinary tasks. Jesus sees us right where we are. But seeing the men in this passage wouldn’t have been noteworthy were it not for what Jesus did next. He said to them, “Follow me.” He extended an invitation to them.

With all four men, we see that they didn’t seek the invitation; Jesus extended it to them, saying, “Follow me.” Remember, they were minding their business doing their work when Jesus noticed them and invited them on the most incredible adventure of their lives!

Follow me.

We don’t ask Jesus if we can follow Him; the initiation is His job. He invites us to follow Him as Savior.

Friend, if you’re reading this today and have never pledged your allegiance to Christ Jesus, allowing Him to cleanse you of every wrong you have ever done, perhaps you’re reading this blog because Jesus has taken notice of you. He is wooing you, inviting you to follow Him. Our first step in following Jesus is always salvation. If you haven’t done that, the process is simple: confess to Him that you are a sinner (we all are!) and that you need His forgiveness. Ask Jesus, the One who died to pay the price for our sins, to be the Lord of your life. Say ‘yes’ to the invitation and follow Him! (If you would like to know more about what salvation means, please reach out to us! We would love to talk with you about this important decision.)

But Jesus’ invitation doesn’t end when we’re saved. In fact, that is only the beginning! Jesus continually invites us into a relationship with Him as a way for us to learn and grow. He also invites us to step out in faith and serve Him. His call is often counter to what we think it will be. It’s often something we don’t fully understand, but it is always something He has prepared us for in advance and will continue to prepare us for throughout our lifetimes. When Jesus invites you to follow, don’t wait for all of the answers or to be perfectly prepared. Trust Him to give you what you need when you need it.

I haven’t traveled to foreign lands as a missionary like I thought I would. I don’t even work in vocational ministry. But God has faithfully fulfilled my heart’s cry to follow Jesus. As an Army spouse for over 18 years, I had the opportunity to meet women from all over the United States. Many I invited to Bible studies in my home, others joined me in online Scripture memory or prayer challenges, some just did life with me, and I hope they saw Jesus through my human imperfections. So, although my promise to be a missionary was fulfilled very differently from what I envisioned, God was faithful to honor my commitment to Him as I accepted His invitation.

Friend, have you sensed Jesus inviting you to follow Him in a new way? If so, I encourage you to meditate on the following passages and seek His will over the next few weeks. I pray He will make His invitation abundantly clear to you and give you the courage to follow!

This month, let’s meditate on:

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”

James 4:13-15 (ESV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:4,5 (ESV)

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:11-14a (ESV)

Let’s pray:

Holy Lord, You are sovereign; I trust You! What is it You desire of me? I long to do Your will; please help me to hear Your voice and follow wherever You lead me. May my life glorify You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

How do you sense the Lord inviting you to follow Him? Tell us in the comments below so we can pray for you as you seek His will!

Chrissie Angell is the Executive Director and a Co-founder of Humble Faith Ministries. She is a speaker, writer, and Bible teacher passionate about pointing women to Jesus and helping them live out their Kingdom assignments. She and her husband, Brian, live in Kentucky with their two boys and their yellow lab, Charger.

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