This is my dog and my best friend’s dog. They are best friends too! They love to play and love each other. And they love just being in each other’s presence.
Currently, we are on vacation together in the Georgia mountains. We have a beautiful river house right on the river with gorgeous, flowing water.
When Junior, my best friend’s dog, got down to the river he was scared. He didn’t want to walk down on the rocks or get near the water.
My dog, Journey, had no such qualms. She hopped right down and ran around the rocks dipping her nose to the water to smell all the smells and experience everything in God’s creation.
When Junior saw that Journey was down there, he decided to follow. He hopped down and began to run around, dipping his nose to the water, and smelling all of the things. Because Journey led first, Junior was able to gain the courage to follow and experience God’s creation for himself.
I saw the same thing happen with my daughter and my best friend’s kids. We got some tubes to ride down that river in front of the river house. My daughter was too afraid to go, at first. But she saw her friends go and how much fun they had and she decided to follow. She saw that it was safe and fun and there were others there to catch her at the end.
TikTok video of all the kids tubing here: https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTdwJC7Rs/?k=1
What has struck me is that it can be the same in our walk with Jesus. When we see our friends step out in boldness to follow Jesus in new ways, we gain courage to step out behind them and pursue Jesus for ourselves.
My beautiful best friend, (yes, the one I keep talking about) who blogs at Brave Blessed and Beautiful, is an example of this. She has stepped out in ways that I never learned growing up in church. I see her relationship with Jesus, and I want more of Jesus for myself.
She is stepping out into new territory, and I am following. Not following her, but through her example I am pursuing Jesus into those same new territories. She has stepped out in faith, showing that it is safe and real. And the more Jesus I see it her, the more Jesus I want in me.
The more she grows with Holy Spirit power, the more Holy Spirit power I want flowing through me as well.
I am so thankful to have a friend who pursues Jesus so passionately, that it pushes me to pursue Jesus more passionately myself.
A couple thought to here:
First – look around you at the people you are surrounding yourself with. I heard a quote recently that said something like, “Look at your friends because that is where you are going.”
If your friends are not pursuing Jesus, if your friends are not spending time in prayer and going after the things of God, then you will not be encouraged to do those things either. You will not be motivated to do those things. We need friends that push us closer to Jesus!
Second, your friends are watching you! When they see you pursue Jesus, they will be pushed to do the same. You may be the one to step out in faith and boldness and show others that the way is safe for them to follow.
You may be the one to stand strong and show how Jesus carries you through the hard times, so they will turn to Jesus in their hard times.
You may be the one to step in a new territory boldly in faith, so that others will then step out boldly in their own faith. Don’t shy away from what God has for you. Because what God has for you, most likely he has for others around you as well!
May you be encouraged today in your walk with Jesus. May you continue to walk out your faith as a bold example to others. May you be blessed and find peace and joy in whatever today brings. In Jesus name, Amen.