FOLLOWING THE LEADER
Friday, December 15, 2017
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“There [Abram] called on the name of the LORD at the altar he had built. Lot was moving around with Abram…” Genesis 13:4-5 NIRV

Many of us remember playing “Follow the Leader” as children. This game requires participants to follow a leader, imitating all their actions and sounds. This is fine for the playground, but it can be a dangerous spiritual practice when the substance of our faith is following a leader.

The story of Abraham and Lot is a prime example. Lot was Abraham’s nephew and travelled with him from Ur of the Chaldeans to Canaan, down to Egypt and back to Canaan. He probably learned a great deal about God from Abraham, and if one were to ask him, “Lot, what do you know about God, he would have likely come up with the right answers. Abraham trusted God’s guidance and promises, but Lot’s faith was second-hand through Abraham. He depended on Abraham to speak with God, listen to Him and discern His will, rather than doing business with God himself. Though he may have had all the right answers and behaved in all the right ways, Lot was simply spinning his wheels and never emerges from Abraham’s shadow.

God does not have grandchildren. He only has children, so it is vitally important we understand we cannot become a Christian on the coattails of someone else, not even a spouse. Neither can we become a Christian by osmosis as if regular church attendance or hanging around with Christians will make us a Christian. Becoming a Christian involves a deliberate, wilful response to God that must be made on the part of each of us individually. It is to act on the Spirit’s calling and what we know to be true in Scripture. The moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, His Spirit comes to indwell our hearts. This is what will transform us from being a follower to being active participants in God’s work and experiencing all He will do in our lives.

When we hear of a spirit-filled person or a fruitful ministry, our tendency is to turn this into a model to follow, but in the process, if we allow these models to become a replacement for God, God becomes detached. It is wonderful to be inspired and motivated, but it is dependence on God alone that accomplishes His purpose. Abraham depends on God and He progresses, while Lot depends on Abraham and He digresses, eventually settling in Sodom, a city God was going to destroy. Lot’s faith is merely a spin-off of Abraham’s with no real relationship with God or experience of Him. If we really mean business with God, then there is no other avenue to take than to deal directly with God ourselves.

PRAYER: Lord God, I pray for a deeply personal relationship with You and ask that You keep me from any influence that takes away from the intimacy I have with You. Thank You, Lord.


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