What It Really Means to Follow Jesus


Matthew 9:9 “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.”

The call of God has never changed, and that call is to follow Him. When Jesus saw Matthew sitting and collecting taxes, all He said to him was, “Follow me.” It was those two words that changed Matthew’s life forever. It was those two words that gave Matthew a greater purpose for life and for living. Those two words allowed Matthew to become a tool for God to use to influence the world until Jesus returns. How did Matthew influence a world? The answer is simple; God used him to pen the book of Matthew and millions have read that book time and time again. Had Matthew not followed Jesus, we would never know about him and his life on earth, and many would have never been helped because of the truths God used Matthew to pen.

Your life's impact is determined by whether you will follow Jesus. Your life will never find its true purpose for existence until you surrender your life to follow Christ. It is in following Christ that your life will take on new meaning and will be used to influence scores of people, not just while you are alive, but even after you go to Heaven. If following Christ is the key to making such a great influence, what does it mean to follow Jesus?

First, to follow Jesus means you must leave yours to follow Him. You can't follow Jesus and the world at the same time. Matthew left his place of employment and all that he had to follow Jesus. When he chose to follow Jesus, he left his friends and the crowd he ran with to follow Jesus. You cannot follow Jesus and keep ties to the old life; you can only follow Him by severing all ties to follow Him. You must be willing to surrender all to truly follow Jesus.

Second, to follow Jesus means you must stop following yourself. Matthew no longer followed his dreams and desires, but he surrendered them to follow Jesus. Your dreams may not be bad, but your dreams must be surrendered if you will follow Jesus. Your dreams are your dreams and not God’s, but your life will never find purpose until you surrender your dreams for God’s purpose for your life.

Third, to follow Jesus means you must arise to follow Him. Nobody has ever followed Jesus sitting and doing nothing. Matthew was sitting at the seat of customs, but he arose when he chose to follow Christ. You cannot follow Jesus and be inactive because following Jesus is an action. You follow Jesus through serving. Too many people want the blessings of following Jesus as they sit, but those blessings come from the action to follow Him. Imagine how many miracles Matthew would have missed had he sat instead of arising to follow Jesus. You are missing the miracles that God could do through your life if you would simply arise to serve Him. God never shows His power through the inactive believer, but through the serving believer arises to follow Him.

Fourth, to follow Jesus means you must step out by faith. It took faith for Matthew to follow Jesus, but his faith was rewarded. Following Jesus is a life of faith. Don't tell me you are following Jesus when you are not doing any great works of faith. When you choose to follow Jesus, you will be asked to do a great work of faith, but you will never regret that you chose to arise by faith to follow Jesus because of the miracles He will do if you will simply follow Him by faith.

Dr. Allen Domelle

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