Last year, my then fiancé shared with me a personal goal that he had set before himself: To read the Bible, cover to cover, in one year. It sounded like such an amazing goal that I decided to join him in the process. Slowly, my obedience to the initiative began to dwindle. I found myself falling more and more behind until, finally, I abandoned the goal completely. My fiancé, however, pressed on.
Fast forward to this year and, my now husband, was still going strong. This past week, I had the pleasure of hearing the news that he had completed the goal. He had read the entire Word of God from cover to cover. What an accomplishment. I couldn’t be more proud of his dedication and faith. He felt God calling him to this effort and he followed.
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”- NIV
Following God. What does that mean exactly? Does it mean that we become believers in Him? Does it mean that we agree with His teachings? Does it mean that we go around quoting scripture?
As I have come to learn in my recent years, there is a distinct difference between believers and followers. A believer trusts the message of Christ, a follower lives like Christ. A believer makes an intellectual choice to be a Christian while a follower bears a cross. A believer hears a sermon on reading the entire Bible and agrees that it may be a good idea. A follower acts.
In our contemporary culture, evangelism puts emphasis on producing believers. While this is the initial objective, we must ask ourselves what comes next: A faith that believes, or a faith that follows?
God may lead us to places of uncertainty or fear, but as true disciples, we follow.