June 16, 2017
Follow the Light
He said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. – Mark 8:34
It has been a few years ago now, but as a young man I served in the United States Air Force as an air police officer. For eighteen months I was at a base in Alaska. They had a runway three miles long which was mostly used to send refueling planes out to B-52s and other aircraft that needed fuel. The fueling planes were big, and when they would come back from their missions they would cruise to the end of the runway and pull up right next to a vehicle about the size of a golf cart. On the back of that little vehicle was a sign with lights that said: Follow Me. It was really easy to follow because there was a blinking yellow light on the top of the cab. That base was like a jungle to maneuver through in a big plane, but if the pilot stayed right behind the Follow Me sign, it would guide the plane to the parking area, no problem.
In an article I read recently, there was a gentleman who flew in World War II who commented on the usefulness of those “Follow Me” signs. He was a pilot, and by his own admission not a believer, but he said, “That small vehicle with the Follow Me sign on the back and the flashing yellow light reminds me of Jesus. A lowly peasant, but the men and women of this world would be lost without His direction.” That statement was a shocker to hear from someone who was not a Christian, but how true it is! We have Someone who shines brightly so we can follow and be guaranteed an entrance into Heaven.
When we do not follow Jesus, we see what problems arise. Hatred, discontent, strife, unhappiness, greed, unrest—you name it and it is there. Those are all snares our enemy wants us to stumble upon. To avoid them, we need to do as our focus verse instructs: deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus. We deny ourselves by forsaking sin, selfish desires, and our own plans, and follow Jesus by applying the Word and His instructions to our lives. If we do those things, He will lead us to a good place.
A man from our congregation once said, “If we get ahead of the Lord, we lose sight of Him. If we get too far behind, we lose sight of Him. But we want to follow right alongside of Him, our hand in His.” We have a wonderful opportunity to follow the Lord—not from far away or through a thick fog so we cannot really see Him, but right next to Him. What a day it will be when we arrive safely in Heaven!