Friday, March 31, 2006

Thinking About Following

As I wrote yesterday's post, I was reminded of another song that we used to sing back in the '70's: Day By Day. It's a simple song. It goes like this: "Day by day, day by day, Oh, dear Lord three things I pray--to see Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, Follow Thee more nearly, day by day." Then there is that wonderful old hymn, Follow On, which we used to sing in church. As I think back over these 30+ years of following the LORD, there seem to be a lot of songs & hymns that talk about following Him. Yeshua said, "My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me." I want to be a good sheep. I want to hear His voice and obey, following Him with all of my heart in all of my ways. I believe that the first 25 or so years of my walk of faith laid a foundation and since then the LORD has been building and working in me. I know over these past 5 or 6 years, He has been dealing with me much more specifically, in direct connection to several scriptures, and it has been exciting to see how far I've come and all that I've learned as I purposed in my heart to follow Him in trust and obedience. He is still calling, still directing, still teaching, still saying, "Come, follow Me." And so I come, sometimes running to Him with all of my heart, sometimes limping and wounded, but always moving towards my Shepherd and the Lover of my soul.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Beginnings Of The Journey

Probably about 4 years ago the LORD began dealing with me, through His Word and other things I was reading, about following Him more closely, with all of my heart. It's been an interesting journey to this point, as He has led and directed and brought conviction by His Spirit in a number of areas. It's a journey that I think I will be on until the day I die or He returns for us.

In truth, it's a journey that began over 30 years ago in a little high school gym where I attended a gospel concert held by some Christian college students. They sang gospel songs, shared their testimonies, and gave an invitation to all who would like to follow Yeshua (Jesus, as I knew Him then). I was 17 years old. I had been attending church every week, usually by myself as the rest of my family weren't very interested in church. I had been reading the Bible nearly every day for over a year. I had heard other "altar calls" and wanted to respond but was afraid to make a spectacle of myself. This time, though, was different. I KNEW that I had to step out of my place and walk to the front, by the stage, and declare that I wanted to follow the Messiah. And so I did. We stood there and sang, "I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back." Another verse declares, "Though none go with me, still I will follow. Though none go with me, still I will follow. Though none go with me, still I will follow, no turning back, no turning back." In the years since then, I have followed the best I knew how. I have stumbled many, many times; I am no plaster saint, more of a "cracked" pot, but I have kept following and He has been faithful to continue leading. The LORD is my Shepherd and I follow Him. Like most sheep, I have strayed away and had to be brought back. His rod and His staff have been my comfort. Though I have been unfaithful, He has always been faithful to me and loved me in spite of all the ugliness that has been in my heart at times. He knows every nitty-gritty detail about me, all that I have thought, all that I have done, every word that I have spoken and the motive of my heart as I've spoken it, and STILL He loves me! What love! All that I am, all that I have, I owe it all to Him. I am nothing without Him. My soul magnifies the LORD and my spirit rejoices in Yeshua my Messiah. The LORD is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him. (Ps. 28:7) Blessed by the name of Yeshua HaMashiach!