Every blessed day that passes by, Jesus is calling people; He is saying Follow Me, just like He called Levi (Matthew) the son of Alphaeus.
Jesus is not really interested in where you come from, how much sin you are carrying, how much you know or don’t know about Him, He simple is knocking at the door of people’s hearts (men, women, youth and children) saying follow Me! The position of Matthew in the tax booth meant He was a tax collector, but Jesus did not care about this when He said follow me. Today also God is saying to you; (put your name here) Follow Me!
Matthew just got up and followed Jesus without asking any questions, and without any hesitation. It does not matter if you are a Christian or not, it does not matter how much you think you know or don’t know, it does not matter how much you esteem yourself or not, as the Master calls you today, as He knocks on the door of your heart, will you listen, will you open up the door for Him, will you follow Him? You may be reading this message today and feel identified with Matthew who was a reject of society, a sinner, a tax collector, a publican, a person who was not welcome in the Synagogue/ church or amongst the religious and common folk. His only friends were people like himself, publicans and sinners, and maybe you feel identified with Matthew, you may even be in a church but you are not following Jesus. You may be a reject, a rebellious soul (according to the thoughts of men), but Jesus sees your heart, He sees your desire for genuine love and acceptance. He understands your needs even better than you do and this is why He has chosen not to pass you by today. This is why He has stopped at the door of your heart and softly but firmly, He is calling out to you and saying follow Me!
Many of you think you are following God, but today, the Lord Jesus through His Spirit is saying Follow Me! In Matthew 22:14 the Bible says, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” God has called everyone, but only a few hear the call and only a few answer the call by following Jesus like Matthew did. God is not interested in you seeking Him because you want to change or because you need something from Him. No! He wants you to follow Him so that all your heart and attention are focused on Him, and He can then allow the change you need to come gradually as He pleases. People who are truly following Jesus don’t follow Him because of any need except because they like to be in His Presence.
Today many people say they are following Jesus but He is not the most important person in their lives. True followers of Jesus care about Him, and they care to be in His Presence, they spend lots of time with Him enjoying His Presence. The tax collectors and sinners were dinning with Jesus, they enjoyed being with Him and just like Zaccheus in Luke 19:1-10 without Jesus even saying anything, His Presence alone caused a radical change for good in his life. Jesus is not calling you to follow Him so that you can seek an anointing or blessing or anything else. The purpose why Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart today is because He wants you to enjoy His Presence and make His Presence your priority and when He is pleased, all other things will follow. (This is not to say that you should not ask God for what you need/ desire, but your needs/ desires should not be your focus, Jesus should be your only focus).
Jesus is calling you to follow Him today because He wants to reveal His secrets to you; He wants to be your friend. Psalm 25:14 says “The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning.” Also John 15:13-15 says, “No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do. I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.]”
As you follow Jesus, Holy Spirit will reveal Him to you. I believe that God is calling each and everyone this year to follow Him. To follow Him in intimacy and in heart to heart communication, into deeper levels of intimacy and communion, but it all depends on you and the decision you will make today to either follow Him or refuse to follow Him.
God does not want you to worry about what religion and the religious are doing. He wants your eyes focused on Him, and He wants your heart to be totally His. Jesus is coming to you today because He knows where you are struggling , He knows when you try to obey Him but you can’t because you feel too weak. He knows everything about you (even when you went onto that pornographic website, when you lusted after that man or woman, when you told that lie, when you tried to hide your identity as a Christian, when you cried because you felt lonely, when you disobeyed Him because you felt He was taking too long to get to you) but He is saying, I did not come for the righteous, I came for the sinners. If you are perfect then you have no need for a Savior, but since you are an imperfect vessel, then you need a Savior who can justify you before God, and this is why Jesus is saying to you today dear brother, dear sister, Follow Me! It is intriguing to know that when the Ark of the Covenant was being constructed, the structure was made of wood then the wood was overlaid with gold and there the Presence of God would be revealed to Israel. This represents a perfect picture of humanity. The wood represents imperfection, which is humanity while the gold represents the purity of God. Since we the temples of God are just like the wooden structure of the Ark of the Covenant, in essence, imperfect vessels, we are in need of a perfect God whose Holy Spirit comes and fills us just like the Presence of God filled the Ark of the Covenant after the covering of Gods purity in Christ covers us, the gold. So if you are seeking perfection, then you are not fit for service. You must realize that you are an imperfect vessel in need of a Perfect God whose in dwelling Holy Spirit causes the imperfection to slowly but gently be transformed into His image.
For those of you who say, “Oh but you don’t understand I have failed God on several occasions so how can I follow Christ?” I say to you, you never failed God. When God created Adam, He already knew that Adam would fall in the Garden of Eden, and this is why the Bible tells us in Revelation 13:8 that Jesus “the Lamb was slain [in sacrifice] from the foundation of the world.” God knew what it would mean for Him to create man and how He would one day have to send His only begotten Son to die for the sins of man, but He loved us all enough to still create us. You cannot fail someone who already knows that you are going to make a mistake. To fail someone almost normally comes with an element of surprise to the one who has been failed, but how do you fail someone who already knew you were going to sin at that exact point in time before you ever existed? Jesus has already paid for all your sins, past, present and future on the cross, and all you need to do today dear brother or sister is to repent of your shortcoming and begin to follow Christ again. (See Hebrews 9:25-28) Don’t let the enemy lie to you, God is not mad at you, because from the foundation of the world, He already knew what you will do and Christ had already willingly laid His life down for all those shortcomings. So rejoice dear brother; rejoice dear sister, your
Redeemer Lives, your Savior is calling you today despite all your errors and shortcomings and He is saying to you (put your name here) follow Me!
The secret to following Jesus is not simply desiring to follow Him, neither is the secret to being a follower of Jesus just saying I will follow Him. The secret to following Jesus is being surrendered to Holy Spirit, being friends with Holy Spirit. You can never know Jesus without first knowing Holy Spirit, because He is your Teacher, and only He can teach you how to be more like Jesus and how to captivate His heart. If you allow Holy Spirit to teach you, then Jesus will be close to you, and you will be following Him. Without Holy Spirit you can never follow Jesus. I know Jesus, He is my friend. He is my friend because Holy Spirit (who is also my friend and Teacher) has taken me on a journey, a journey of encounter with my Master and King. If you truly want to follow Jesus, then make sure Holy Spirit is given all the importance He deserves so that you can truly be a disciple of Jesus. People that follow Jesus sit at His feet to learn from Him like Mary did. They don’t care about anything else but being with Him. Their priority is being in His Presence (where Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to you), not like Martha who worried about everything else except what really mattered. Following Jesus is not about the quantity of things you do for Him, but about the dedication of your heart, it’s about being passionate for Him just as He is passionate for you. Today I ask you, will you follow Jesus? Will you be His friend? Will you allow Holy Spirit to teach you?
If you are going to follow Jesus then right now make sure you get rid of everything old, and stagnant in your life that does not produce life. Isaiah 53: 18-19 says, “Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
The old is always an enemy to the new of God. We need to never get accustomed to doing things in one way because God is always doing new things. People who are full of structures generally do not flow with the new of God, and dear brother, dear sister as Jesus is calling out to you saying, ‘follow Me’ it is necessary that you become a new wine skin always ready to receive the new revelation of God even though it stretches your faith. People who are old wineskins are hard, inflexible and unable to receive new revelation from God, because anything new could destroy them.
Today the Lord is saying
“In order to be a new wine skin, in order to remain flexible, always open to the new which I am doing, it is necessary that you follow Me, that you follow the leadings of My Spirit, because I am on the move, I am raising up a New Generation of people who in the past seasons were not counted upon by men. I am raising a generation of Matthews, people who will care about being in my Presence more than anything else, people who will care about my name, people who do not seek to be known or remembered by men, people who will be obedient to Me. This is why I am saying to you My children today follow Me. Don’t look to your left or to your right, don’t care about what people are saying, seek my Presence, spend time with Me, I am waiting for you daily because I have what you need. I am your God, I have plans for you, for you were born in this generation for a specific purpose which only I can lead you into. If you are willing children, if you listen to My Holy Spirit as He leads you, I will do new things in 2011 and you will be a part of My army. Like I said to Matthew, I say to you, follow Me. Like I revealed to John in Revelation 3:20, “Behold my children, today I stand and I am knocking at the door of your hearts, if you hear my voice, and if you open the door I will come in to you and eat with you, and My Spirit will lead you into the greatest adventure of your lives. Just follow Me!”