Follow Me

Author - Keyshawn Parkman
As I sit here and reflect on my year, I can’t help but be amazed by how much God has brought me through in such a short time. As I continue to pursue His presence consistently, I found myself desiring the things of the Lord more and more. I find myself focusing on trying to imitate Jesus and His ways, trying to love like He does. I’m enjoying where He has me right now. But, I have a desire to grow deeper in my relationship with God. My prompt for this week expresses this as I'll be talking about how a disciple imitates Jesus' life and character.

This prompt reminds me of the Gospels, and seeing the disciples day to day experience with Christ. It’s interesting to me how during that time, each disciple strived to mimic their Master to a tee. One of the biggest takeaways I’ve gotten from Jesus’ teaching is His emphasis on obedience. Jesus teaches about this during many sermons and interactions with His disciples throughout His time on earth. In John 14:23 Jesus says, If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. But Jesus didn’t just preach obedience, He also became an example to His disciples about what that looks like.

I bring up the topic of obedience because the Father’s mode of operation with Jesus’ during His time on earth provides evidence of His oneness with Christ. We see this time and time again as Jesus ultimately expresses how He and the Father are one. His relentless obedience to the Father was His oneness with the Father expressed. As the scripture in John 14 mentions, we as believers have God dwelling within us as we are already one with Him. This explains simply how we’re able to imitate Jesus and His character, as Jesus Himself already lives on the inside of us. This has been in the forefront of my mind. It’s been a huge subject that we’ve discussed during our time here. These scriptures have helped me rest in the fact that as I continue to surrender my will and fall into obedience with God, that I’m living out what’s already gifted to me—the character of Christ.

I’ve been getting in my own way when it comes to this simple truth, and simply submitting to God. Oftentimes I’m too focused on myself and how certain situations affect me. Other times I’m too worried or concerned that whatever it is that God has called me to, I won’t be able to fulfill. Mostly it’s been my character that comes out instead of Jesus. But I’m reminded through Scripture to shift my focus back on Him, and I’m glad that I’m able to read and meditate on His life constantly. When I shift my attention to the life of Jesus, I find that He can empathize with my situation, my emotions and any concerns I may have. I reflect on the fact that Jesus never asked His disciples to do anything that He Himself didn’t do.

As I continue on this journey that God has me on, I realize that real fulfillment as a disciple comes when we fix our gaze on the life of Jesus and imitate His character. Jesus not only teaches us how to do this through obedience but demonstrates this through the oneness we have in Christ. Jesus Himself even says He does nothing without the prompting of the Father. My biggest relief has come knowing that everything God has called me to do, He plans to do through me, I only need to submit to His will.

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