Follow Me While I Follow Christ
Follow Me While I Follow Christ
(How to be led by the Holy Spirit)
June 5th and June 6th, 2004
1 Corinthians 11:1
Imitate ame, just as I also imitate Christ.
/Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ./
-We know of course that Jesus said in several instances to His disciples;
17 /“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.  /
23 /Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  /
-We know how many decisions we have to make. Some are obvious. Some are not so obvious. We all know of times we can look at and say; “God directed me here.” We also know times when we can say; “God told me not to do that.”
-How can we get more consistent in following God? How can we raise our batting average so to speak? The Bible says “those who by reason of use have their senses trained to distinguish good from evil.” In other words, we can learn from our mistakes as well as the mistakes of others and do better.
-Having just been in Turkey for a couple of weeks following the footsteps of Paul the Apostle, it became very obvious to me that Paul and His traveling companions were dependant upon the leading of the Lord.
-They followed God even if they had a plan. Paul was quite a thinker and a planner yet he allowed God to interrupt his plan regularly.
-Some of it may stem back to the way God had to get Paul’s attention in the first place. Remember the running the red light on the Damascus Road experience!
1. Follow Integrity
The integrity of the upright guides them,
16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19 /The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: ……./
-In other words, several things guide you between right and wrong.
· The Bible
· Your Conscience
· The Fruit of the Spirit versus the flesh
-Those are the obvious ones.
-There is a video clip I saw this week where several bank robbers are getting ready to go into the bank but they pray first and ask God’s blessing.
-I saw a newsreel where Madonna and her troupe held hands and prayed before going on stage. Then she went on stage and mocked Jesus and everything righteous.
-Those are easy ones.
2. Have a Sense of Destiny
-Reading Acts and the New Testament it is easy to see that Paul had a sense that he was under divine instruction.
-Neither he nor you have set a course by chance. You gave your life back to God; He is the captain of the ship now.
-Sometimes you know He is leading you. Other times you just trust.
21 After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete/; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” /
-Paul gave them some advice and they didn’t take it. Yet he told them they were going to live because God wasn’t dome with him.
-The time they told me I had cancer; which turned out not true; they thing that gave me hope was a sense that I wasn’t done. My assignment isn’t finished.
-God may be saving you for the big game!
When David Livingston was asked if he didn’t fear that going into Africa was too difficult and too dangerous, he answered; “I am immortal until the will of God for me is accomplished.”
-You can see when God led them to Europe and led them through hardships; they sensed God was in charge.
-Do you have that sense in you?
-Settle in your heart how important your life and mission is to God.
-God went to a lot of trouble to get you here and then have Jesus die for you and then send you out to others.
-It reminds me of the story of the man who lost millions of dollars for his company and the boss called him into his office. He said; “are you going to fire me?” and the boss replied; “I have too much invested in your education, why would I fire you now?”
2. Be Open to the Supernatural
-The spectacular is not an everyday occurrence in Biblical figures. It was occasional.
-The same is true for me and most of the Christians I know. I can point to a dozen or so occurrences in over twenty five years.
-Most of the time you don’t need the supernatural or spectacular to guide you.
-There are several key times in Paul’s life when God just plain interrupted him.
-I had a plan when God sent me to Bible school. I had a plan when God sent me to Warrenton. He is much smarter than you or I.
In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene/, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. /
-There was some time of prophetic utterance here and they knew it was time to launch out.
6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia/ and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. /
-Jesus stood by him. Angels ministered to him. He had revelations, dreams, and visions.
-God can show you stuff.
-The Holy Spirit wants to show you things to come.
-Be filled with the Holy Spirit and be open.
3. Look for Open Doors
-In other words, learn to discern the hand of God in the situations and circumstances around you.
-Learn God’s M.O. and follow Him.
8 /I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.  /
(Church of Philadelphia)
3 /And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  /
We were going to buy something and didn’t. When we went back it was on sale-big and there was one left in the color we wanted hidden away. I sensed God had ordered the circumstances.
-Paul was in Psidian Antioch because God opened a door through a relationship. He recognized God.
-Learn to recognize God in circumstances.
4. Follow Peace
2 Corinthians 2
12 Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, 13 I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said good-by to them and went on to Macedonia/.  /
-Notice that Paul had an open door but it wasn’t his ultimate guide.
-The higher principle was peace in his heart.
Colossians from the Amplified Bible says;
Let the peace of Christ in your heart settle ever issue that arises in your minds.
-Someone said that God leads you with the light system…red lights, green lights etc.
-Learn to follow peace as the umpire between what is good and what is best.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
/and he will make your paths straight. a /
14 /because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  /
5. Become Captive to the Will of God
13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot. 14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. 15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Kios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus. 16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.
17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
-If you read the rest of Acts you can see that God wanted Paul to go to Jerusalem and Rome.
-It seems as if he had a choice.
-It also seems that his friends gave correct words with wrong interpretations.
-He has to make a decision whether to follow God’s best or not.
δέω deō; a prim. vb.; to tie, bind:— bind(7), binding(1), binds(2), bound(23), imprisoned(4), prisoners(1), put...in chains(1), tied(4).
-Paul was compelled/bound to the will of God.
-He surrendered to the will of God about his future.
a Eph. 5:1
The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (1 Co 11:1). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Mk 1:17). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Lk 9:23). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ga 5:16). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ac 27:21). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ac 13:1). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ac 16:6). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Re 3:8). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Col 4:3). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (2 Co 2:12). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
a Or will direct your paths
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Pr 3:5). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ro 8:14). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ac 20:13). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
prim. primary, primitive
Thomas, R. L. (1998, 1981). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : Updated edition (H8674). Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.