I’m an over-cautious driver. One lesson I learned in Driver’s Ed years ago was to leave at least two car lengths between me and the car ahead. When I see brake lights, I start slowing down. But following at a distance is not always the best practice, especially when it comes to our Christian faith.
For years, I followed Jesus at a distance, as I was too caught up with climbing the ladder in my chosen field of television. I believed in Jesus and had prayed a prayer to receive Him as Savior in high school but fell away for seventeen years once I went off to college. Bible reading, prayer and church were more the exceptions than the rule.
I was not unlike many who scattered when Jesus was arrested, then crucified. His own disciples fled when their Rabbi and Mentor was hauled away by authorities. During one of Jesus’ trials at the high priest’s house, Scripture says Peter “followed at a distance” and later denied knowing Jesus.
After he died on the cross, Luke 23:49 says, “But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.”
I’m wondering today, “Do you still stand at a distance, or are you a close follower of Jesus Christ?”
My own life transformed when I quick lagging back in my faith, and chased after Jesus. Today, there’s nothing I desire more than experiencing the power of the resurrection daily through a close, intimate relationship with the Savior whose sacrifice on the cross was a game changer for mankind.
What happens when we cut the distance between us and Jesus?
In Luke 24, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James and other women drew near, by going to the tomb with spices for Jesus’ body. They encountered two angels.
When Peter quit running away and ran back to the tomb to see for himself that Jesus’ body was no longer there, he was later used as a mighty man of faith and was the first to deliver the Gospel message through the power of the Holy Spirit.
When two men walking on the road to Emmaus, drew near to Jesus in their thoughts, and contemplated the meaning of the empty tomb, Jesus appeared to them.
Things happen when we quit following at a distance. We run head on into the Savior of the world.
Do you need more victory in your life? Are you tired of doing things your way with subpar results?
Then move from the periphery into Jesus’ presence. Discover what others have found when they drew near to the resurrected Christ: supernatural encounters, direction, peace and fulfillment. These are fringe benefits of the resurrection, gifts from Jesus at Easter. We just have to move closer to open them.
Come near to me and he will come near to you. (James 4:8).