10.28.2012

i have decided

I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus,
No turning back, no turning back. 

I sang this song with a group of wonderful friends last night, and then again with a praise and worship group this afternoon. The song was written many decades ago, but holds so true. It was written by a native missionary in India who based it off the last words of a man martyred for his faith. Instead of denying his Savior, he said, "I have decided to follow Jesus." As his family was threatened, he said, "Though none go with me, still I will follow." And as he was executed, he was singing, "The cross before me, the world behind me. " What God-given words in this man's greatest hour.

I have decided to follow Jesus. My decision was was made several years ago, but is remade day after day. In little things, like how I treat my family, I have to decide to follow Jesus. In big things like staying in the US or going overseas, I have to decide to follow Jesus. It's called a "decision" because it's a choice. And every time, the choice to follow Jesus is the right one.

Deciding to follow Jesus has changed my life. Obviously. If it following Jesus doesn't change everything, then it's not following Jesus. And oh, how beautiful His plan has become to me. Even when I feel hurt, even when I don't understand, even when I just have to trust, He shows me His faithfulness to someone who doesn't deserve any of it. Miracles.

The world behind me, the cross before me,
The world behind me, the cross before me,
The world behind me, the cross before me,
No turning back, no turning back. 


Do you realize how insignificant the things of the world are? Besides the people whose souls are eternal, none of it holds any worth. None. Psalm 4:2 - "How long will you love what is worthless?" Let us put the world behind us. I am ashamed at how hard this can be. We have become a people that is so centered around what is clearly visible, easily accessible, and definitely comfortable. But there is no reward, no purpose, and no joy in those things. Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 - "I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun." We know that it is all meaningless, because we all know that we will take not one single, solitary, insignificant scrap of it with us when we leave this temporary home. And as Jimmy Brazell said, "If you place your happiness in temporary things, doesn’t that mean your happiness will be temporary?" Rather, let's come to grips with the inconsistency of our actions. Let's make our lives show the value of the cross. Gazing on the crucified, we see Truth, Purpose, Life, Forgiveness, Joy, Eternal Heaven. There's no comparison between these two concepts. The world behind me, the cross before me!

Though none go with me, still I will follow,
Though none go with me, still I will follow,

Though none go with me, still I will follow,
No turning back, no turning back. 


In our situations, we rarely have to follow God alone. We are surrounded by Christian, for the most part. I've never had quite such a literal experience with the words of this verse as I am right now. Heading off to China in four days, I'm going alone. Oh yes, many, many, many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are going with me in Spirit, but this is a path that God has called me to embark upon alone. None go with me. And honestly, that is a little scary. I know that God's hand holds everything, and that nothing outside of His will is going to touch me. But even so, I'm beginning to get just a taste of what it's like to have none go with you. Yet still, I will follow. My fears won't hold me. The world won't dissuade me. My inadequacies won't prohibit me. Still, I will follow. 

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back. 


Please. Decide. In this moment as you read this, you may not know where God is calling you. You may have no clue what in the world He might ask you to do. But I am asking you to right now, decide that regardless of any of that, you will follow Jesus. No matter what. If you hesitate here, think. Why labor for what you cannot hold on to? Why waste the life that is lived so quickly, and holds so much value? Why end with regrets, when Jesus offers you life abundantly? 

Maybe, you know exactly what God is asking you to do. It's been weighing on your heart a long time, but you just can't imagine saying yes. Everyone will think you're crazy, it won't make worldly sense, it will ruin the "plans" others had for you, or that you had for yourself. But I am asking you also to decide now. Decide to follow Jesus in this. Whose wisdom do you trust? Whose standards, His or America's? Whose heart can you fully rely upon, the God who made and saved you, or your confusing, tiny self? 

Please decide. This is the beginning of the greatest journey. My few short years of literally following Jesus have been breathtaking. I trust Him fully. I have decided to follow Jesus. The world behind me, the cross before me. Though none go with me still I will follow. No turning back. 

No turning back. 





 
 

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