Follow Me: My Story
Have you ever had a life verse? God can give you a clear direction for your life as you study His Word!
I am in a local women’s Bible study. One of our tasks for last week’s session and gathering was to write our life verse and purpose statements and share them with the group. I had never been asked to contemplate a life verse and did some pondering on exactly what I would share at our next gathering.
I landed on two commands or truths, which drive the purpose and direction of my life. The first is when Jesus says, “Come, follow me” thirteen times in the Gospels. It can be considered both a command and a call to act. The second is, “Nothing is impossible with God.” This suggestion or mindset is mentioned multiple times in scripture to remind us to let go and let God lead us. He will empower us to do anything for His glory.
“Come, follow me.” Matthew 4:19
Jesus’ call to follow him is more than a suggestion, a call or even an invitation to pray a prayer. It is a summons to lose your life and find new life and ultimate joy in Him. It means to trust in Him to face your fears and to do the impossible with you.
It means to give any preconceived schedules, timing, goals and thoughts. It is a call to surrender yourself, what you visualize for today and for your future and to trust God. It means to take immediate action, not when the mood strikes you or when you’ve completed “x”, or when you have the right set of skills to be comfortable – but now. Drop everything and follow Him.
When you give God 100%, He will transform you into what He needs. He created you TELEOS, perfectly designed to do what He wants you to do. His call is to give Him complete control-not worry if you have the right skills or experience to do His work, your home, what you wear, where you live or where you work – but instead to trust Him with every detail and to do it now, without hesitation.
“Nothing is impossible with God.” Matthew 19:26
No matter where you are today, even if the task at hand seems impossible or like it just won’t work out, trust God. He has a way of working things out exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think, if we’ll only trust in Him! He asks us to leave our old selves behind and not turn back. He prompts us to trust in his ability to transform our hearts and minds in ways we never thought possible. It means to trust Him to give us direction, skills, words, gifts and actions that may have been seemingly impossible before our transformation.
Life verses at work
I have three recent examples of how God used these two calls/statements/suggestions to direct me:
A NEW CAREER
I work in Marketing Communications and have for my entire 28+ year career. I was in a job for 11 years and held 7 different positions (2010-2021) – with increasing responsibility in each new role. I sensed for the last 3-5 years that it was time for me to move on, but at every turn, I talked myself (and let others in the company) into staying and seeing it through. I worried about changing to a new company in my mid-to-late 40s. I feared that if I left without a job that my family couldn’t make it financially, I convinced myself that the leadership there was as good as it gets and so I stayed.
Finally, in the summer of 2021, I heard the Spirit speak to me one morning as I stepped out of the shower and said, “Come, follow me.” It was the loudest and most clear voice I ever heard. It was the very moment that the worry, fear and any misgivings left. It was the very moment that I had the confidence I needed to walk away and not turn back. It was at that moment that I gave up my control of my career and let God have it – without having another job already lined up.
I was unemployed for over two months. Surprisingly, it was the most rewarding two months in my career. God brought so much clarity and direction during my time of being still and knowing that “Nothing is impossible with God.” He used every moment to teach me to spend more time dwelling in His presence and digging deeper into His Word. He also gave me the direction He wanted me to travel. The call resulted in a transformation of mind, body and spirit to His ways and for His glory. The result was a new job, in a new industry, where I could take advantage of not commuting to work and being closer to family during the day.
A NEW DIRECTION
Another recent example, was an epiphany that resulted from listening to God’s call to “Come, follow me.” My husband and I have been married for 29+ years. His family is from East Texas, mine from the Texas Panhandle. Even though East met West, we’ve always been city dwellers.
He’s always wanted to move to East Texas and I’ve always been resistant to the idea. The thought of leaving the comforts, conveniences and fast-paced city life to move to a quieter, slower pace in the country was never appealing. Where would we work? Where would our boys go to school? What would it be like to live in the country vs. the city? How would we make friends? How would we get involved with a church? How would we fit in? I loved to visit East Texas, but I just couldn’t imagine living there. Then one day, as I went on my daily walk and contemplated my husband’s urging to sell our home of 21+ years and move to the piney woods, the Spirit once again spoke to me and said, “Come, follow me.” His call was so clear!!!
I needed relinquish control over my own expectations and let God take me and transform me once again. I needed to bend to His timing and plans and not my own. I needed to let go of my fears of where I would find friends and how I would handle “country life” to let God make those calls for me and for our family. Once I let go and let God, it was so clear that “Nothing is impossible with God.”
To my surprise, both my boys are super-excited about moving and starting fresh. They both already visualize their new country life with Mom and Dad. My 19-year old was already sold on the idea of getting out of the big city, when he started attending college at LeTourneau University in Longview, TX in the fall of 2021. My 17-year old is excited to finish his senior year in Denton, then begin fresh for college and work in the country, too. God’s calling always results in greatness and brings Him the glory in our transformations and changes. God already prepped me by placing me in a role where I can work from home and my husband in a new job in Longview. He was already miles ahead of us, we needed to follow Him and His direction and trust in His ways.
A NEW CHALLENGE
My last example is about taking care of my Dad, who is now 86. My Dad also lives about five miles from me. He’s been in his home a decade and we’ve been in ours for 21+ years. My Dad and I have a very rocky relationship for many reasons. He’s always been very secretive (not wanting anyone in any of his business or knowing anything about how he lives), independent (living alone in multiple homes since my parents divorced when I was 17), and didn’t have any deep friendships nor close ties with his four sisters or any of his family. The biggest obstacle to overcome with my Dad was his manipulative behavior and super-controlling attitude – his way or the highway.
My brother, sister and I noticed that his mind was starting to slip a few years ago but could never convince him of it. Most recently, in the last six months, his short-term memory issues have gotten to the point where he needs help. For me (and my brother and sister), it’s been difficult, because my Dad is not a nice nor friendly patient. He is secretive. I struggled with exactly how I would handle my Dad’s request to help him manage his affairs. I’ve been resistant to let him into my world because of his manipulative and cunning ways, which always resulted in hurt and pain for those who tried to help him. I’ve shielded my boys from him because I didn’t want them to get caught up in his destructive behaviors.
I prayed for answers. How will I handle my Dad and not get hurt? How will I convince him to let me help with his financial affairs? How would I handle his rude and overbearing attitude? How would I face others knowing how he could spew anger at people at any time? Where would I find the time to help him? How would I find patience, how would I not get hurt? I prayed and prayed for the answers.
God delivered. He said, “Come, follow me and I will show you the way.” God called me to be my Dad’s helper, whatever was needed. He gave me the time and patience to take every challenge before me. He continues to give me peace at the end of each day, no matter what obstacles I face. He continues to lead me each day. God shows me each day that “Nothing is impossible with Him,” by continually directing me, providing just the right amount of time I need. He shows me how to do His work for His glory. He gave me a job where I work at home, so that I would have the time and be close in proximity to my Dad.
I can summarize how impactful these two life verses have been. When I am willing to stop focusing on self and follow Him, without hesitation, He transforms me. When I trust and believe that “Nothing is impossible with God” and not let the voices of doubt and fear drive me, I allow transformation and change to occur, all for His glory.
VERSES TO STUDY
“Come, follow me.”
4:19 “Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
8:22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me and let the dead bury their own dead.”
9:9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collection booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
10:38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
19:21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (random man)
1:7 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people.
1:17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
2:14 “Follow me,” Jesus told him and Levi got up and followed him
8:34 Then he called the crowd to him, along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
10:21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go sell everything you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
5:27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
9:23 Then Jesus said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
9:59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
14:27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
1:43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
21:19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me.”
21:22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
Nothing is impossible with God
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
For with God, nothing shall be impossible.
Follow Him today. Listen for His voice. He will be faithful to lead you!