Tuesday, May 28, 2002

We're speeding down the Interstate when suddenly we come upon this RV, pulling a small car behind him. It looked like the little car was actually pushing this big recreational vehicle, but, of course, I knew that couldn't be. The car's license plate was clearly visible - it said, "Me also." That didn't make any sense until I managed to get a glimpse of the license plate on the RV that was pulling that car. It said, "I'm happy." Cute.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "As Long As You're Following."

That little car's identity makes no sense if it's not attached to the big vehicle that's taking it where it needs to go. It works as long as the car is following.

Following is exactly what Jesus has commanded those of us who belong to Him to do. His often-repeated command is, "Follow Me." To the extent that we are following the One who's supposed to be in front of us, the happier we are. To the extent we're unhitched and off on our own, we're not very happy. Things work as long as we're following.

Jesus makes that clear in our word for today from the Word of God in John 13:17. In His final hours with His disciples, after pouring out His heart and His instructions for them, He says, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." That word "blessed" - "makarios" in the original language of the New Testament - can rightly be translated, "happy."

It isn't knowing Jesus' way of life that will make you blessed and happy, it's doing what He said.

It could be that you've been wondering why your life seems to be off track right now. You've been wounded. You're worrying a lot. You've been wondering about what's wrong or what direction you should go. It could be that your wounds and your worrying and your wondering are because of your wandering - from the way Jesus wants you to be. When you drifted from following what He wanted you to do, your happiness began to turn to unhappiness... your peace turned to being stressed out... your confidence to confusion.

And the joy isn't going to return until you make a mid-course correction and get back to doing it Jesus' way. You've been blaming everyone and everything else, you've been trying to fix everything but yourself. But you're paying the price for not being as close to Jesus as you used to be. And, you know it and He knows it. You've been getting spiritually careless. You've been compromising - rationalizing instead of repenting.

Jesus said it isn't enough to know what's right, to believe what's right, even to teach what's right. What He cares about is you doing what's right. And He knows there are areas of your life where you are not following Him - in your marriage, with your children, with that secret sin, with that wrong relationship, or in the way you've been treating people. Or it may be what you're not doing that's costing you your happiness - you are resisting your Lord in something He's been trying over and over to get you to do.

A follower of Jesus shares his or her Master's joy and peace and confidence - so long as that follower is following. If you've been drifting away from your Leader, if you've come unhitched from the Source of your joy - it's time to get back to what you know is the happiest place in the world - in the center of the will of God.



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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