They may think they are following Jesus, but the reality is this: they have invited Jesus to follow them. They call Him Savior, but they’ve never surrendered to Him as Lord.
And I was one of them. Trust me, I didn’t want to go anywhere without Jesus right there behind me. But I wanted Jesus to follow me, to serve my purposes, to do my will.
It wasn’t until I was a nineteen-year-old freshman at the University of Chicago that I had my Copernican Revolution. It started with this question: Lord, what do You want me to do with my life? That’s a dangerous question to ask God, but not nearly as dangerous as not asking that question!
I got tired of calling the shots. Honestly, I wasn’t very good at playing God. Plus it was exhausting. I stopped trying to “find myself” and decided to seek God. I couldn’t read His Word enough. I got up early to pray. I even fasted for the first time in my life. I meant business. In fact, business as usual went out of business. For the first time in my life, I put Him first.
On the last day of summer vacation, I got up at the crack of dawn to do a prayer walk. Our family was vacationing at Lake Ida in Alexandria, Minnesota. The dirt road I walked down may as well have been the road to Emmaus. The cow pasture I walked through may as well have been the back side of the Sinai Desert with a burning bush. After months of asking, I finally got an answer to my question. I knew what God wanted me to do with my life.
On the first day of my sophomore year, I walked into the admissions office at the University of Chicago and told them I was transferring to a Bible college in Springfield, Missouri, to pursue full-time ministry. The guidance counselor thought I was crazy. So did a few friends and family members. Giving up a full-ride scholarship to one of the top-ranked universities in the country didn’t make much sense on paper. The logical and practical thing to do would have been to finish my undergrad studies at the U of C and then go to seminary, but I knew this was my all-or-nothing, now-or-never moment. I knew I needed to quit hedging my bets, push all my chips to the middle of the table, and go all in with God.
Was it a gut-wrenching decision? Yes. Did I ever second-guess it? More than once! But the true adventure of following Jesus didn’t begin until I went all in. That is the day I stopped asking Jesus to follow me and decided to follow Him.
Let me ask the question: Who’s following who?
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Are you following Jesus? Or have you inverted the gospel by inviting Jesus to follow you? Are you ready for the adventure of going all in with Jesus? Leave your comments below – we’d love to hear from you!