Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
The Lord leads us in life. Sometimes the leadership of Christ will be experienced as we take the principles of His Word to heart and obey His commands. This is sometimes called “principle-based discipleship,” and should be a significant part of every believer’s life, but this is not the only way we follow Christ. We must also be led by His Spirit.
The servant must be where Jesus is and this requires that we know what is on His heart and how, as well as where and through whom, He is moving. Being grounded in His Word is an essential part of this process, for surely we know His heart through His word, but we must also be led by His Spirit. Christians tend to lean to one side or the other in this matter: either we focus on the Word to the neglect of the Spirit or on the Spirit to the neglect of the Word. God, however, is never in conflict with Himself. His Spirit does not lead us contrary to His Word and His Word does not lead us contrary to His Spirit. Being grounded in the Word will actually lead us toward a greater sensitivity toward the leading of the Spirit.
As we live in conversation with God, we find that He begins to place on our hearts the things that are on His heart. We sense His Spirit lead us toward those people and those places where He is moving – where we can say, “God is at work in this place.” And we must follow Him to these places, for that is what His servants do. Surprisingly, God does not call everyone to leave where he is, even if it is a place resistant to the gospel, to go to more responsive fields. Christ said to the healed Gerasene demoniac who begged to go with Him, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you” (Luke 8:39). In that resistant place called Gerasene he was to tell his story, and he was to look for where God was at work and to be there with a servant’s heart.
We are sometimes faced with temptations to linger some places where He is not moving because of human affections, because we have made friends there, or it feels like home, or we are comfortable, or here we are respected and have a name for ourselves. If the more noble motives of friends and home are not proper justification to linger where God is moving not, how much more so are the baser motives of “my respected leadership” which is clearly pride revealing itself. A key litmus test in this matter is the people’s commitment to the Word of God. No group of Christians is perfect, but if they love Jesus, if they love the Bible and are seeking to live under its authority, if they are open to the leadership of the Spirit, even if they are not currently experiencing His movement, then that is a place where God can move.
Lord, we thank You for Your leadership in our hearts and in our lives. Show us where You are at work, where circumstances around us touch Your heart. Use us in these places. Amen