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Walking Behind

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." --Philippians 4:12

Read: Philippians 4

Perhaps the young man meant to say it. More likely, he was simply searching for the right words to use in describing his decision to follow Jesus. Still, the simple words he eventually did choose spoke volumes. He didn’t say he’d decided “to become a Christian.” He didn’t even say he’d chosen “to follow Jesus.” He said he had decided “to become one who walks behind God.”

What a profound statement! Deciding “to follow” someone doesn’t mean you have to be close to them. You can be separated by time, space or both. I can “follow” the path taken by the explorers Lewis and Clark and eventually wind up in the same place they did — but to do so is purely an intellectual exercise, based on the writings they left behind. I don’t have to have a trust relationship with either of them.

But to choose to “become one who walks behind God” is a different thing altogether. It means making a deliberate choice not to be the one who is seen by other people, because the One who walks in front is so much greater than I am. And I have to stick close not to get lost, because the way is tricky. It means accepting that I am not in control, so I have to trust the One who is leading the way. But that also means I don’t have to spend my time trying to figure it all out myself. It means accepting that my view will be limited. But it also means my circumstances — whether good or bad — don’t impact me greatly. If my eyes are locked on Him, everything around me is perceived only peripherally. (Maybe that’s what Paul meant when he said he had found the secret to being content “in plenty or in lack.”)

And if He fills my vision, that’s the most beautiful thing I could ever hope to see.

--Karla Dial

Karla Dial, a longtime PrayFit contributor, is the editor of CitizenLink and Citizen magazine at Focus on the Family. Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., she is a fitness enthusiast with over a decade of training experience.

SUNDAY SERVICE WITH PRAYFIT

The subject of physical stewardship is not a message you're likely to hear in this Sunday's sermon. But perhaps it should be. With an increasing number of our fellow congregants and family members struggling with obesity-related health issues, it's worth noting that the Lord desires abundant health for us and that even though He looks at the heart, failing to take care of the bodies He created in His image amounts to a heart issue. PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña has spoken at churches across the country, imparting the message of our health as a means of praise. Could your service be next? Check out the video below, share it with your church leaders then contact us to find out how you can bring this message to your congregation!

>> Can't wait for a church visit? Why not start a small group? Click here to get your hands on PrayFit DVDs and books and use them as your curriculum!