Follow Me: A Promise Is a Promise!

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A Promise Is a Promise!

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Follow Me: A Promise Is a Promise!

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There’s a story about an old Scottish woman who traveled around the countryside selling housewares. Whenever she came to a fork in the road, she would throw a straw in the air, and when it dropped to the ground she would proceed in the direction it indicated.

The residents of the area knew her strange custom, but one day a friend saw her tossing the straw several times before choosing a path. He inquired, “Why do you do that more than once?” “Oh,” she replied, “it kept pointing to the road on the left, and I wanted to go the other way because it appeared smoother.” She proceeded to toss the straw to the wind until she got the direction she wanted. 

Exactly what did Christ promise would come? Are His promises really better than our human premises of straw?

Let’s all recognize that Scots and women are not alone in exercising such techniques. We all too often do our own mental form of tossing straw to guide our decisions with matters far more serious than selling housewares. Yes, even Christians get stuck when confronted with our personal forks in the road and humanly seek that smoother path.

“I will come to you”

What does this mean for us? In extending His invitation of “Follow Me,” Jesus Christ boldly proclaimed, “I am the Way” (John 14:6 John 14:6Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
American King James Version×
, emphasis added throughout). And He is the singular Way at that!

In so doing, He made specific promises to inform and encourage those sincerely following Him: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper … the Spirit of Truth … I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you (John 14:16-18 John 14:16-18 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
American King James Version×
).

But a condition for us is that we must be willing to let go of our self-made bundle of security straws.

Humanly, therein lies the challenge. Any reading of Scripture informs us about Jesus Christ’s invitation to those seeking after Him. He plainly stated in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12 Matthew 5:1-12 1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came to him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
American King James Version×
) that we could be incredibly happy without the trappings of happiness. We can be fearless even when our knees are shaking and we live in constant trouble in a world that relies on wind and straw rather than eternal truths.

What do I mean? Let’s consider for a moment:

In one day, the disciples went from experiencing a vision of Christ transfigured in glory to not being able to battle the demons down here below (Matthew 17:1-21 Matthew 17:1-21 1 And after six days Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said to Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if you will, let us make here three tabernacles; one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spoke, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear you him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. 10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said to them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say to you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done to him whatever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist. 14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for often he falls into the fire, and oft into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him here to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief: for truly I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you. 21 However, this kind goes not out but by prayer and fasting.
American King James Version×
).

Within 24 hours, Christ went from precious moments of washing others’ feet to having His hands nailed to a wooden beam.

The joy of Pentecost that year was short-lived as apostles were jailed and Stephen, one of the first deacons in the Church, was martyred.

The road is not always smooth, but we must keep in mind the destination and realize that it’s worth every step to get there.

Exactly what did Christ promise would come? Are His promises really better than our human premises of straw?

Multiple promises given by Christ

To people of Christ’s day, the Spirit of God was perhaps considered by some as awesome yet impersonal and involved in the lives of select people for certain periods of time.

Yet Christ, the Word and voice of God on earth, declared incredible aspects of a new relationship with the many and not just the few.

Jesus stated:

• The Spirit would be with us forever (John 14:16 John 14:16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
American King James Version×
) and not merely temporarily.

• It would be given to those whom the Father called and who responded to that selection and not given to the world at large at this time (John 14:17 John 14:17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
American King James Version×
).

• It would not come and go as before, but would—notice —live with us and even in us (John 14:17 John 14:17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
American King James Version×
).

• While not a person as many claim (see our free study guide Is God a Trinity? ) the Spirit would have qualities that literally could teach us, guide us and remind us of Christ’s words (John 14:26 John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
American King James Version×
).

• It would convince (convict) us of sin, show us God’s righteousness, and even declare God’s judgment regarding evil (John 16:8 John 16:8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
American King James Version×
).

• It would even guide us and grant us insight towards future happenings—and all to give due glory to the One sent by our Heavenly Father (John 16:13-14 John 16:13-14 13 However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.
American King James Version×
).

With this all promised, when Pentecost came that year the disciples were praying and obedient but, perhaps equally important, they were expectant and believed Christ’s promises (Acts 1:12-14 Acts 1:12-14 12 Then returned they to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where stayed both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
American King James Version×
).

But why? They had spent much time with the Son of God who was filled with the Spirit of God—Jesus of Nazareth. They had witnessed that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among them and that the Spirit descended from heaven and rested on Him (John 1:14 John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
American King James Version×
; John 1:32 John 1:32And John bore record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it stayed on him.
American King James Version×
).

They had real-life experience with this One who was full of the Spirit (Luke 4:1 Luke 4:1And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
American King James Version×
), who avoided sin in the wilderness, where He exercised the wisdom of God in remembering and declaring Scripture to avoid evil and remain righteous and give God glory in stating, “For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Matthew 4:10 Matthew 4:10Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.
American King James Version×
).

It was He who was the embodiment of the messianic prophecy that “the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:2 Isaiah 11:2And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
American King James Version×
).

Again, they did not know what was to come, but they knew they had to use the promised Spirit fully—to rely on it and be guided by God through it in all of life’s challenges.

Promises you can trust

They came to fully grasp and understand that their Master and Lord, the Christ, and His Father would fulfill what was promised and would come to dwell in them by the Holy Spirit—it being the Spirit of the Father and Christ, both of whom are Holy and Spirit (Leviticus 11:44 Leviticus 11:44For I am the LORD your God: you shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall you defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
American King James Version×
; 1 Peter 1:16 1 Peter 1:16Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy.
American King James Version×
; John 4:24 John 4:24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
American King James Version×
).

The apostle Paul makes this incredible truth extremely plain in Romans 8:9 Romans 8:9But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
American King James Version×
: “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” It is the same Spirit, the one Spirit that makes us all one (Ephesians 4:4 Ephesians 4:4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling;
American King James Version×
; Hebrews 2:10-11 Hebrews 2:10-11 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers,
American King James Version×
).

The Holy Spirit is not simply a spiritual bulldozer, hammer, or screwdriver to reach for, but is literally the indwelling essence of God the Father and Christ in us through which we can live a daily life of worship, glorify Them in all we do, and be a blessing to others.

As the apostle Paul came to confess and understand: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
American King James Version×
, King James Version).

There truly is a difference between walking with Christ and allowing Him to walk in us and draw on His Spirit. Just ask the disciples who had the experience of walking with Jesus Christ during His ministry, followed by His death and resurrection before that eventful Pentecost. Talk about a before-and-after snapshot comparison of hearts and minds!

It’s the same faithful Spirit that enabled Jesus in the flesh to seek God’s will and not His own in every thought, word and deed even when smoother roads lay in front of Him. Christ never twirled a piece of straw hoping for a different path other than the one the Father set before Him. He believed God and did what He said.

When we truly grasp and believe Jesus Christ meant what He said and keeps His promises, it doesn’t mean that life necessarily becomes humanly easier. But it becomes eternally rewarding, as we come to the forks in the roads of our life’s journey and toss our self-made straw aside.

For we have chosen to exist beyond the moment, and we thank our Heavenly Father every day that we not only believe in His Son, but know that He exists within us and within all those who have heeded the call of “Follow Me.”

Now it’s time to walk in the Spirit by faith as He did!