Then said Jesus unto his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
Our natural desires seek what is pleasing to the eye and ignores what is destructive to the soul.
Our flesh is a magnet to the things that are temporary.
Our five natural senses will steer us in the wrong direction every time if we don’t deny ourselves of the immediate gratification of the moment.
THE ANSWER? We must unfollow!
We must unfollow everything and everyone that pushes us away from Christ.
One of the greatest dangers is to think that if everyone is doing it, it must be OK.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I want to call this the crowd syndrome. The crowd might be more in numbers, but more people doesn’t always equate to being right. As a matter of fact, high percentage of the time, the crowd will take you down the wrong path.
If you are just following a crowd, moving when the crowd moves, and waiting for others to show you the way, YOU NEED TO UNFOLLOW.
If you are letting a crowd to dictate your steps and make decisions for you, YOU NEED TO UNFOLLOW.
Here is illustration that may be relatable for some of us… When you are at a sporting event or watching a sporting event, have you noticed that the crowd in the stadium or on the couch loves to think they know more than the coach? Can you imagine if a quarterback decided to take plays from the crowd?
I mean how ridiculous does it sound for a pro athlete to take direction from an overweight, out-of-shape, chip-dipping, ranch-loving, soda-drinking hot dog champion?
That doesn’t make sense! WHY? Because that athlete makes choices every day to UNFOLLOW the unhealthy and eats and exercises differently than the crowd.
Look what Jesus said about the few and the majority and heaven and hell.
Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it. Matthew 7:13-14 TLB
The easy way is to follow the crowd right to hell. Not my words, but the words of Jesus.
But the minority, not the crowd, will find the gateway to LIFE. Now, understand that this is not God’s will for it to be this way. He wishes none to perish but all would come to repentance. But the unfortunate truth is that more want to be swayed and influence by a crowd then by the voice of the One saying …… “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
One person that decides to not go in the same direction as the multitudes will get God’s attention. One person that decides to STAND OUT in the crowd and go against the flow of the masses will stop God in His tracks.
“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” Mark 5:25-34
You could be part of the crowd and not part of the miracle. You can be in the presence of Jesus and miss want He wants to do for you.
You could be “close” to the provider, “close” to the miracle worker, “close” to the healer but far from His touch.
“Augustine long ago said of this story, ‘Flesh presses, faith touches.’… He can always distinguish between the jostle of a curious mob, and the agonized touch of a needy soul.”
“It is not every contact with Christ that saves men; it is the arousing of yourself to come near to him, the determinate, the personal, resolute, believing touch of Jesus Christ which saves.”
“The disciples didn’t understand the difference between casual contact with Jesus and reaching out to touch Him in faith. There is a huge difference between bumping into Jesus here and there and reaching out to touch Him in faith. You can come to church week after week and “bump into” Jesus. That isn’t the same as reaching out to touch Him in faith.”
Make a move toward Jesus today. Unfollow whatever else has been clouding your vision and focus on Him.