“Though none go with me, still I will follow, no turning back, no turning back.”
This is a line from a famous song “I have decided to follow Jesus”. This song was based off of the passage of the Bible where Jesus calls Peter to follow Him. (John 21:20-22). When Peter inquires about Jesus’s purpose for another Disciple Jesus responds with a simply,
“If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” John 21:22
We are not promised companions in this life. We are called many times to work with other believers and work as a part within the “body of Christ”. However we are never promised to have any one solid companion other than Christ throughout our journey through life. This may show itself in a few different ways.
- We may be called, Like Paul was, to serve apart from those we desire to be with. In Paul’s letter to the Church in Rome he explains that he wanted to be with them but that God had called him elsewhere for the time being. It was not that Paul could not be used at the Church in Rome but that God had specifically called him elsewhere.
- We might also be called to stand up for what is right when everyone else says it is wrong. Some examples of this are Jonah (after he was spat up by the big fish), Caleb and Joshua (when everyone else was afraid of the inhabitants of the Promised land), and Lot (when the whole city was living in sexual sin).
- Lastly we may be called to follow our commitment to God even when we lose those we love. The best example of this I can think of is the Prophet Ezekiel. In Chapter 24 God tells Ezekiel, “Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes.” but then to add lemon juice to an open wound God continues to tell Ezekiel that he would not even be allowed to openly mourn for her but that he must continue to live life, as a seemingly insane person, as a picture lesson for Israel. This call can sometimes be the most painful and yet our response must be as Job said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away”. A humble response realizing that everything we have is from God and He can take it away, without reason, at any moment and still be just and good.
No matter what God is calling you to or not calling you to one thing is made clear by these examples and this song. We are called into a very personal and beautiful relationship with God. We are apart of the body of Christ and called into a family of believers, yes. However, we are known completely by God and He speaks to us directly, knows us better than we know ourselves, and shows us our individual gifts and talents as He calls us into areas of His work that He especially designed us for. This purposeful relationship is so beautiful in its Simple Complexities.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10