Who Are You Following?

The wonderful world of Twitter… 

A place where we can follow anyone (if they allow us of course). When I talk to my fellow Twitter users, I am often asked some variation of this question: Who Are You Following?
You see, you can learn a lot about a person by the people/organizations they follow on Twitter. 
I believe the same can be said about life. You can learn a lot about a person by who they follow in life. Who influences them, who leads them, who inspires them etc. 
Before I go any further, I want you to consider this fundamental leadership principle: 
Everyone is leading someone 
Everyone is following someone.
Whether you consider yourself a leader or not, the reality is that you are leading someone. Could be many people, could be a younger sibling, could be a friend.. Could be anyone. 
In addition to this, you are following someone. Even the President of the United States has individuals who have shaped his thinking over the years. 
This begs the question- Who Are You Following? 
Paul said it best in his first letter to the Corinthians.
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 
1 Corinthians 11:1 

As followers of Christ, we must legitimately follow Christ. And as followers of Christ, we must look at the people that we allow to influence us.
With that being said, I encourage you to take a moment and ask yourself- Who Am I Following? 

Reflections on Passion 2012

Passion 2012 concluded last week. How can 4 days feel like an eternity and a blur at the same time? I don’t know, but somehow Passion did. It all happened so fast, but the days leading up to Passion seem like a distant memory.
Anyway, I now have some time (to attempt) to digest Passion. The lessons I learned, some insight I gained and my perspective moving forward.
My prayer for this blog is that it would:
  • Glorify God 
  • Be rooted in truth
  • Bless those who read it
  • Lead to action
People Matter Most
This is a lesson that I was reminded of while at Passion. It is a lesson that I have learned time and time again, but God seems to remind me of this simple truth on a consistent basis. 
Consider this for a moment- 
·      27 Million slaves worldwide. 
·      Millions (maybe billions) who have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ. 
·      Billions of people who are lost and need Christ.

Look no further than the Cross to see the value that God places on people. Jesus came and died for the whole world. He did not come so we could receive salvation and then keep it locked up until we die.

Wherever we are, whatever we are doing.. This truth remains. People Matter Most.
Emotion Does Not Last
What happens when you toss gas on a flame? 
– It flashes and burns up instantly. 
How long does this flame last?
– Just a moment and then it dies down. 
Well, the same principle holds true for our walk with Christ. We can not base our walk with Christ (flame) on emotion (gas). It simply doesnt last. Often times we go to an event like Passion and reach a spiritual high so to speak. Great worship, great fellowship, great speakers etc. This creates an emotional experience that just can not be sustained. Question- If you base your walk on emotion, what happens when the emotion fades? Or becomes negative? Will you waver then? Will you think God has abandoned you?
I wrote about this very thing last year. (Found here- http://bjamos.blogspot.com/2011/08/coming-down-from-mountain.html
Synopsis- Our walk with Christ must be based on commitment. Emotions will come and go, but a commitment of our heart, soul, mind and strength will sustain our walk with Christ.
 Importance of the Word 
                   I know you are thinking, “Duh, this is a no brainer.” And you are right, but do we do it all of the time? Are we in the Word daily? I know that prior to Passion I was in the Word sporadically. The discipline of reading God’s Word is not easy. Thats why its called a discipline. This lesson was perfect for me as I have committed to read the Bible in a year. And that will take discipline, but fortunately I got off to a good start at Passion. 
Size of God 
  1. Wow. Thats all I can say. This point will be short. When Passion began and the giving began, my prediction for the total was $1.8 million. Maximum. Well, God proved how foolish I am. And He showed a glimpse of how large and powerful He is with a total of over $3 Million.  (Which is funny, because I prayed that I would catch a glimpse of His size and power- Mission Accomplished) 
  2. I also reflect on what John Piper (I believe it was him) said about the supremacy of God. And He talked about how our sins and the issues that grip us, pale in comparison to the awesome size and power of God.  I know this and have been experiencing the truth of this in a very real way recently.
Challenge the Comfortable Life 
“As if the goal of life is to be comfortable.” When  Christine Caine said this, it really resonated with me. And it continues to. I sit here, at BOLC for the Army, and I am reminded daily how comfort is not what Christ has called us to. Actually, in my time with the military, this truth has been drilled into my head on a consistent basis.  I heard a saying once a few years ago from my Drill Sergeant that I will never forget- Comfort Kills. In combat, if you are seeking “comfort” you are often times not alert and not in a position to defend yourself. Hence- Death.
In order to legitimately follow Christ, we must challenge the comfortable life. The comfortable house, comfortable social setting, comfortable environment etc. 
Consider what Christ said in Luke 9:23- 
Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Did you catch that? Take up their cross daily… The cross, an implement of torture so terrible they had to create a word to describe the pain one experiences while on it (Excruciating). Passion is just another awesome experience if we do not learn from it. It is nothing more than that if we are disobedient to God’s call on our lives. Moving forward, I encourage you to consider where you are right now… Where God has placed you. And I want you to think this one simple thought- 
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. 
Matthew 28:19-20