I know it's ridiculous but this year I realised that I had a warped sense of following God.
1 Kings 20.35-43
Reference: v.37 The prophet found another man and said, "Strike me, please." So the man struck him and wounded him. (NIV Bible)
Explore: The one song that I will always remember from my theological college days is 'Here I am, Lord'. The chorus is a powerful expression of our commitment to the cause:
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.
Every time I sung this song it was like I was recommiting my life to the cause of Christ. This year I really feel that I have started to put those words of commitment into action. And while I sat in my comfortable set at theological college singing these words, I could never have known how difficult it would be to follow Christ. When the rubber hits the road, that's when our faith really speaks the loudest.
The son of the prophets was commited to following God's word and so asked a man to strike him. The verse says that he was struck and wounded. While this happened to the son of the prophet in a physical sense, often our faith can lead us to be struck and wounded emotionally.
Application: I know it's ridiculous but this year I realised that I had a warped sense of following God. It was only when things got really difficult that I expected God to intervene in a quick, obvious way and everything would be alright again. If you had have asked me 12 months ago, 'Do you believe that if you follow Jesus your life would be smooth sailing?' I would have definitely said, 'No, don't be silly. That's ridiculous. Often the road to follow Jesus is more difficult, but it's so much more rewarding.' And yet, when my faith journey became difficult I suddenly assumed that God would intervene and make everything smooth for me, because I was following Him. While my journey on the road to following God has often been bumping and almost like a scary rollercoaster ride, it has been a time of growth and complete dependence on God. If I was to be totally honest, I would have to say that it was not enjoyable. However the benefits of gaining a greater relationship with God has been a wonderful outcome.
Our faith does not mean our journey is smooth sailing, it just means that we will have the greatest companion by our side.
Prayer: Lord, your road certainly goes through some bumpy territory but 'I will go, Lord, if you lead me'. Amen.
Where do you find God leading you at the moment? What helps you get through the bumpy road?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.