A ‘Follower’s’ Reward

by Lester Young

Here’s a question that might spark a little interest: Would you categorize yourself as a ‘leader’ or a ‘follower’? Do you like to ‘take the bull by the horns’ (though I’m not all that sure just how many people would actually follow behind you in doing such a…but I digress), or are you one who prefers to gauge which way the wind’s blowing before stepping out and committing yourself? Okay, okay, yes…it’s a somewhat loaded question.

The fact is, if you’re a human being, you’re a follower. There’s nothing you can do about it; you were made that way. “Wait a minute! I thought God made men to have dominion and gave us a free will!” Yes, that’s true; He certainly did. In fact, Genesis 1:28 tells us exactly what we’ve been given dominion over: “God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” We can expand this thought to mean that we’ve been given dominion “over all of the ‘natural’ creation” (but not, you’ll notice, over other men!). Of course, you know the story: Adam gave that right of dominion over to Satan when he chose to obey his words rather than God’s. (Keep this thought close by; we’ll refer to it again shortly.)

Aside from ‘other human beings,’ there’s another glaring omission in that list of things God gave man dominion over: the spiritual ordinances which cause all of Creation to function as it does. Those ordinances can be completely and succinctly described as ‘His Word.’ God’s Word was before anything else; and everything else (whether spiritual or natural) exists, is held together and operates by His Word (Colossians 1:17). While putting Job in his place God rhetorically asked him, “Do you know the laws of the heavens [the spiritual realm], and can you make them to rule over the earth?” (Job 38:33 New Living Translation, paraphrased) With that query God was declaring to us that the spiritual realm (because His Words, of course, are Spirit [John 6:63]) commands the natural, physical world. Hebrews 11:3 clearly bears this out as well: “By faith we understand that the worlds [plural] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the Word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible” (Amplified Bible).

The point is that since God has exalted His Word above even His own Name (Psalm 138:2), then we humans most certainly are subject to the influences of the system of ordinances It created. And there’s absolutely nothing that we can do about that. We are under a word-based, word-operated system, period. Remember, words are spirit – you can think of them as ‘spiritual’ containers, or even as seeds that will bring forth results (fruit) according to what they say (Isaiah 55:11; Matthew 13:3, 19; Mark 4:14).

From the outset, God’s System was designed to bring forth the Blessing through man to and upon all His natural creation (Genesis 1:28, 31; Psalm 115:16). But once Adam lost God’s Light and Life running through his being because of the poor decision he made, the curse was produced instead of the Blessing. Just as taking away life from something can only mean death, and taking away light can only leave darkness…taking away the Blessing leaves only the curse. However, because God was well aware of Satan’s underhandedness in that whole matter, man did not lose his ultimate right to choose (although the devil would sorely prefer that we not be privy to such information). That’s why the LORD told the ancient Israelites, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing” – giving them a clear option. Then He went even further and let slip a not-so-subtle hint of the right choice to make: “…Therefore choose life, so that both you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Because we live under and operate in a word-based system, we make the choice of life or death – blessing or cursing – by the words we choose to speak. We do not have the right or the ability to make up our own words, words that do not fall into one spiritual category or the other. The words we speak will either be filled with life from God or be devoid of life – that is, filled with death. We cannot choose not to live under a word-governed system. We can, however, choose which words we will live under. We can’t escape the spiritual Method of Operation God has set in place.

Our words are not original. And indeed, they shouldn’t be. As disciples of Jesus, we should be emulating Him by saying and doing only what the Father tells us to say and do (John 5:19, 30, 8:29). If we’re not saying His Words, then by absolute default we’re saying the words of the world – which simply turn out to be the words of the devil, since he’s presently the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).

So, as it turns out, we’re all ‘followers.’ But actually, if you choose right, that’s not a bad thing – in fact, it can be very good. After all, Jesus said, “These words I speak to you…are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit – but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25 The Message Translation). Notice that Jesus didn’t say the man would be a smart carpenter; He said he’d be like one – in other words, he did the same things the wise carpenter did, so he got the same results the wise carpenter got…and that’s just as good!

If you receive and heed a righteous man simply because he’s a righteous man, you’ll get the same reward as that righteous man (Matthew 10:41). If you’ve received Jesus because He’s a Righteous Man, you’ve gotten the same reward He has. You’re a joint-heir with Him, you have the same Kingdom that He does, and you’ve been exalted and sit at the right hand of the Father just like He does – right now! (Luke 22:29; Romans 8:17; Ephesians 1:20-23, 2:6; Colossians 1:13) But if you follow somebody else – whether by conscious choice or default (meaning if you don’t make a choice at all, by default the choice is made for you) – in the same manner, you’ll end up getting the same reward that person gets.

Follow Jesus, get His reward. Follow the devil, and you’ll get his…just look at those angels who went after him (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:16-18; Revelation 12:4, 7-9).

God doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6): the choice of who we’ll follow is still ours.

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