What is following Christ? It is not difficult to discover. Here a child can be on a level with the most learned divine. It simply means keeping His words and copying His example. Following means imitating. The children of Israel followed the pillar of cloud. They went in the same direction it went; they stopped when it stopped.
Now many make a common mistake with regard to following Christ, and it is a disastrous one. They think it means following Him to heaven, and that in the most comfortable way possible. Whereas the true idea, the idea which was taught by His example—and explained a thousands times over by His words—was that following Christ means following Him from heaven into a world of sin by paths of sorrow and suffering; indeed, just doing as He did. To be a Christian in reality is to be a Christ—man or Christ—woman.
Following Christ must mean having the same purpose. How is it possible without? How can the marksman hit the same mark if he does not take the same aim? How will a vessel reach New York if she does not steer for that port? How can a man follow Christ if he is not moved by the same purpose?
What was His purpose? The salvation of the world. Not the humiliation and suffering, and agony and death. These were only the means by which the end could be reached. He wanted to reach the dying millions, and by living a divine life before them, to make the salvation of all possible, to make the salvation of multitudes sure.
This was His purpose. To this every thought, and feeling, and effort was He offered up. His whole being was consecrated to its accomplishment.
Here is your pattern. What are you living for? What is the deep secret purpose that controls and fashions your existence? Let us watch and fashion ourselves with our divine Model.
William Booth, The Warrior’s Daily Portion