“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NKJV
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 16:24-25
When the Lord Jesus Christ calls us to follow Him, the word “follow” doesn’t mean merely to walk behind Him as in how we normally think of the word “follow”. The Greek word translated into the word “follow” when Jesus tells us to deny ourselves and take up our crosses and “follow” Him according to Strong’s concordance also includes in its meaning, “to be in the same way with” and “to accompany”. Jesus is inviting all those who repent and believe in Him as Lord to be in His fellowship. “To be in the same way with” Him. To be in His company. To be in relationship with Him. The verse above from Proverbs tells us that though we in our hearts come up with our plans and agendas, planning our own way according to our ways, we are to submit our hearts and lives to the Lord and to live in fellowship with Him. “To be in the same way with” the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why? Because Jesus is THE WAY, the ONLY WAY, to have a relationship now and forever with God in heaven. Following the Lord Jesus Christ means living our lives in His company, denying ourselves our wishes, ways, and wants, and choosing instead to live according to God’s ways. In the Proverbs verse, the word “way” according to Strong’s concordance comes from a Hebrew word also including in its meaning “journey.” Is it not true without God in our human sin nature we pridefully map out our journeys according to our fleshly desires and according to our human ungodly ways? Why does Jesus say those of us who lose our lives for His sake will find our lives? And that those of us who follow Him need to deny ourselves and take up our crosses? Because to be in His company forever, to be with Him everlastingly, we need to sacrifice our own ways and give up planning out our own journeys and instead yield ourselves utterly to Him and live and breathe to bring God glory.
When we yield ourselves wholly to the Lord and to His plans for our journeys, letting Him by His Spirit through His Word lead us step by step according to His ways, we will know, experience, enjoy, and be satisfied with the immeasurable love, peace, hope, and joy of being in His company forever.