Why I Follow Jesus

30 06 2011

by SCOTT MURPHY, Council of Twelve Apostles

Why do I follow Jesus? This question takes me back to a pivotal experience that helped me discover something in my journey with Jesus.

There was a period when I thought I was being faithful to God as I diligently prayed for God’s guidance. However, I failed to recognize that my prayers became restrictive when I added too many parameters to my desire to go where God wanted me to go. In the end, I achieved nothing I had prayed for. In my disappointment, I became angry with God. I thought I was being faithful in my desire to follow Jesus. But in the end, I felt that God had let me down.

During this time, God patiently waited for me to discover a new understanding of what following Jesus meant. I finally realized that my prayers had nothing to do with me following Jesus; what I had wanted was for Jesus to follow me where I wanted to go.

Over the years I have tried to keep that in mind, because when we choose to follow Jesus, he takes us into places and experiences that are different than when we try to get Jesus to follow us.

Why have I chosen to risk following Jesus? I’ve learned over the years that when I follow Jesus, it ultimately leads to encounters where the peaceable kingdom of God, Zion, is experienced in relationships with one another. When the tangible love of Jesus is expressed in and through our lives, even in our brokenness, something profound can happen to bring greater meaning to our life.

I’ll never forget when I was serving as a school principal and began to open my life more authentically with my staff. Though I had positive relationships with my staff, those relationships deepened when I began to give expression to the presence of Christ in my life. In sharing that part of my life, many of my staff opened parts of their lives and allowed me to enter their stories.

In those encounters I discovered stories filled with brokenness, loss, and pain. But something meaningful occurred when I offered to pray for them. Sharing our stories enriched our relationships, bringing value and joy to our lives.

On my last day before leaving to come to work for the church, one of my staff members came into my office. With tears in her eyes, she looked at me and said, “Who is going to pray for me and my family now?”

I knew in that moment a tinge of God’s peaceable kingdom had come near her, bringing meaning, worth, and hope to her life.

Why do I follow Jesus? Because Jesus always points us to where God is present. And where God is, Zion is near, and life can experience the healing and wholeness God desires for all of God’s creation.

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One response

30 06 2011
Barb Kernohan

It really spoke to me when she said, “Who is going to pray for me and my family now?” We can all do that, even though we don’t know who she is.

Another part that spoke to me was:

“I finally realized that my prayers had nothing to do with me following Jesus; what I wanted was for Jesus to follow me….”

Thank you for sharing.




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