Doug attended church every service. He lived in a trailer. His clothes were always neat and clean but never new, and he drove an old car. Once I visited him to see if he needed financial help. I was shocked by what I found! He had a good job and made as much money as anyone in the church. He chose to live beneath his means to give to the church and to many needy people. He is one of the best examples of following Jesus I know.
The third requirement in becoming a Christian is that you must follow Jesus. Unfortunately, this is often misinterpreted. It does not mean following a minister (preacher). Good ministers should be loved and appreciated, but your greatest loyalty and love must always be to Jesus. Ministers come and go, but Jesus is forever.
It may not mean following a church or denomination. People and churches should only be followed as they follow Jesus.
It definitely does not mean following “self.” Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). This is a “daily” process and calls for the crucifying of your natural self-centeredness.
In order to follow Christ, you must know his will. You can find his general will for all Christians in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Pay particular attention to the words in red. His specific will for you can be known only by keeping a close relationship with him and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
It doesn’t sound easy, does it? Well, it isn’t. But it is worth it!
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. firstname.lastname@example.org.