Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. - 1 Cor 11:1 NKJV
Who do you follow? Who do you look up to? We all have someone or several people in our lives whom we look to for guidance in one way or another. Are you that someone to a person in your life? To be a leader is a big responsibility. Paul, the writer of 1 Corinthians knew this. He knew that people imitated him and heeded his teachings. For this reason, Paul wanted to make one thing clear: that he should not be followed in word or in deed unless he was in accordance with what Jesus Christ would do or say.
I like this about Paul. He humbly recognized his faults (Romans 7:14-25) but still took great care to do the right thing and he wanted to make sure that first and foremost people were following Jesus. That is the essence of what Paul wanted. He wanted people to follow Jesus. I want to be like Paul. If what I say or do does not line up with what God says in His Word, than I don't want to be followed. Always test for yourself what I say, write or live, by the truth of God's word.
Following Jesus takes work. Following Jesus is more than going to church and getting an emotional high with hands raised while singing a favorite praise song. Yes, that is a part of worship, a part that I believe cannot fully take place without some relationship with God. However, true worship is more than an emotional response to an inspirational message or song designed by the local church or a speaker to evoke a reaction in the hearers. True worship is defined by how we lived our lives in the day to day grind. True worship is seeking God through the pages of the Bible even when we don't feel like it sometimes. True worship is reading a passage of scripture and applying it to our lives even though we don't like how it makes us feel. True worship is a life of surrender, following the true Leader, no matter the cost.
For further thought:
1) How is your walk with God? Would someone following you be following God as well?
2) How many times per week do you examine your life in light of what the Bible says? Following God means that we must know what He says to do. How can we know if we don't read His word?
3) Who are you following? Do you know for certain that what they do or preach aligns with God's ways? Once again, we must know Jesus Christ to know if others are also following Him. And how can we know this unless we dive into God's Word for ourselves?