Summary: Part of a series based on Mike Slaughter’s book
Real Followers are Spirit led, Acts 20:22-24
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
January 20, 2002
Being a Spirit led follower means carrying a cross not climbing ladders
It has been argued that we live in the most prosperous country in the history of the world. As Americans we consume 78% of the worlds resources. We have become a society that aquires, consumes and wastes. We are continually trying to do something more grand than the last time. I remember when Intel announced its Pentium chip, next was pentium2 then 3 then 4 and the cycle keeps growing. We live in a world that doubles in knowledge every 18 months. We have to always improve.
It’s our nature to try to do better. I am one of those people who can’t wait to see what’s next, What will palm or Intel come up with next. I absolutely love innovation and making things better. Although the same
Mindset for innovation tends to be the same mindset with which Americans live their lives.
Because of the way that we view progress we view our lives the same way. How much did you make last year? Wouldn’t you like to make more this year? What kind of car are you driving? Do you have your next one picked out already? Perhaps you have your eye on a promotion at work. A Bigger house. As Americans we tend to be ladder climbers. We want a better job, more money, a nicer car, and a bigger house.
You say those things are natural. Well they may be, but they could also have the potential to keep us from a more meaningful walk with Jesus.
Just because something is natural, doesn’t make it right.
Now I want you to hear me because I don’t want anyone to get confused and angry. So don’t quit your job today or demand to go back to an entry level position. What I am saying is check out where your focus is.
Promotions come to those who work hard and deserve them, better financial positions come through competence and hopefully you will be blessed in that way.
However if you are motivated by getting to the next rung of the ladder, or by keeping up with the neighbors then it’s time for a vision test.
Are you working so much that you have neglected God?
Are you being completely ethical in your possibilities of a promotion?
Are you undercutting someone else’s chances to succeed in the business?
Real followers carry crosses instead of climbing ladders.
Real followers are Spirit led over success driven.
In the eyes of the world Jesus died a failure. A flop at 33. Sentenced to death by his own proclamation that he was the Messiah. And to those who expected a Messiah to bring an end of Roman oppression this man was a poor pathetic failure.
But Real followers know better.
The figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought which takes success for its standard.
The Jesus we serve did not call us to be successful. In fact he said “If you follow me, you might just be regarded as a failure because you follow me.” He suggested that foxes have holes and the birds have nests but if you follow him, you just might not have a place to live.
How many times have you heard a story about the young man who goes to his guidance counselor and says “I want to go to school to become a minister, or a Christian music major? The guidance counselor then tells the student that to make a move like that would be the equivalent of throwing their life away.
So many times when a young brilliant person decides to give their life to Jesus the friends have a funeral. Have you ever experienced that? You finally realized that Jesus is what makes life worth living, and your friends throw you a farewell party. And while you’re standing right there they are saying things like “She was so young, she had her whole life ahead of her” or “It’s such a shame he had a very good career and things were only getting better”
The truth is there is an obvious difference between being a follower of Jesus and following the crowd.
I simple fact is that people value one over the other, but then again, so does Jesus. The one who said: If you acknowledge me with your life I will acknowledge you and give you real life”
While on a trip to Switzerland, an America businessman was watching a Swiss clock maker carving the case of an ornate cuckoo clock. As the businessman watched the clock maker carve out the case, he was astounded at his slow rate of progress. The businessman finally said, “My good man, you’ll never make much money that way.” “Sir,” the clock maker replied, “I’m not making money, I’m making cuckoo clocks.”