Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
An adult and a four-year-old child go for a walk outdoors. They begin their walk on a sidewalk or path, with the adult carrying on a lively conversation with the little one. Pretty soon, the adult realizes the conversation has become one-sided. The child has stopped responding to questions and has stopped contributing verbally. The adult turns around, only to discover the child has stopped following. He is way behind, looking at rocks, flowers, and bugs, and wandering into a neighbor’s yard. For the conversation to resume and be meaningful, the child needs to follow the adult more closely.
“Following” is a central theme of life with Jesus Christ. He identifies Himself as the Good Shepherd; His sheep follow Him so closely and so consistently that they know the sound of His voice. That means they can immediately detect a stranger’s (possibly dangerous) voice and then hear the Good Shepherd’s voice of safety and direction.
If you want to hear God’s voice, make sure to stay close to the Good Shepherd through prayer, worship, and the Word.
It costs to follow Jesus Christ, but it costs more not to. Greg Laurie
Matthew 16:24-27 – Skip Heitzig