I attended a women’s conference a few weeks back. I had my notebook ready, and captured all sorts of wise words and valuable lessons. One stood out from all the rest.
“Someone asked the question, ‘What are you doing with your life?’
The answer I heard was, ‘I’m following Jesus. How about you?’”
Is life really that simple?
Yes, I think it is. My college chaplain used to say, “Few things are necessary, really only one.” (More about that here.) Our one thing is following Christ. Simple doesn’t mean easy, though. In order to follow Jesus, we have to see where he’s leading us. That requires time and effort and a good deal of going against the flow of our culture. It takes:
Knowing him: spending time in prayer, taking time to read the Bible, immersing ourselves in teaching about who he is and what his will looks like.
Listening to him: limiting distractions that crowd out his still small voice with clamor and confusion, asking him to speak and looking for his leading.
Opening ourselves to others: letting true fellowship take the role of godly counsel at times when we aren’t sure what following Jesus looks like.
Stepping out in faith and courage: taking action in some situations, while waiting patiently in others. When we don’t yet know the path that’s right, and can’t keep waiting to make a decision, we have to seek our Lord’s will and trust that, as we step out in faith, he will keep us going in the right direction. When we do know what following Jesus looks like in a particular circumstance, we still need the strength or courage to follow through.
But at its core, the life we’re meant to lead is one of simply following Jesus. When I’m discouraged or confused, I take comfort in the fact that Jesus wants me to follow him. And he knows I want to do just that. My prayers for guidance are absolutely 100% within his will, and 1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
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