Perhaps the most radical follower of Jesus was not a follower but a forerunner. His name is John the Baptist, and he was a nonconformist. His personality was wrapped in camel’s hair, a leather belt and a diet of locust and wild honey. His message was:
“After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:7-8 (NIV)
John was resolutely focused on the one and only, Jesus of Nazareth! He knew that he preceded the Messiah. He was resolutely the forerunner of Christ. He was born for this. He held steady on his message of repentance by breaking rank! With whom? The religious and political chatter of his day. Before God, John was humble. But on his mission, he was boldly rattling cages.
John had to think differently than those around him, in order to act differently. Jesus followed the same order. He aligned His thinking with Old Testament prophecies about Himself. As Jesus’ thinking embraced His Father’s blueprint for His life, everything changed. The ground began to move beneath His feet. He introduced a radical New Covenant. Even the ground beneath the legalistic mindsets of the day began to shift. Game on. Like rearranging the landmass on a construction site to match an architect’s blueprint, Jesus’ blueprint/mission moved some dirt. He gained ground for the Kingdom by challenging the popular thinking of His day.
Ever watched earth moving equipment rearrange dirt for a new construction site? That’s what happens when someone makes Jesus Lord. It happened to me. Once I started thinking like Jesus, everything changed. The Holy Spirit worked preparing me for a major shift in my life. He challenged my thinking by unfolding the Gospel of Jesus and the blueprint for my life. As I read the New Testament, Jesus came alive on every page. Familiar words, from 20 years of sitting in church, suddenly took on a new life. This radical change in my life began to happen the day I made Jesus Lord of my life . . . and will continue for the rest of my life.
I realized that the way I had been living life was tied in tandem to where my thought life had taken me. My emotional responses to life had to change. Disappointment and depression began to lose their hold on my mind. A new perspective of myself severed my relationship with inferiority. The ground began to move beneath my feet. God was building His kingdom in me!
Are you ready to move some dirt? Great! Surrender it all and make Jesus both Savior & Lord. Start reading the New Testament to build your relationship with Jesus. Keep it simple & real.