What does The Jungle Book have to do with Christian Holiness? Not much, honestly, but let me explain.
I was six years old when the original Disney flick was released and I loved it. So much did i love it that I begged my mom for the book. She brought home the Disney book based on the movie. I wanted Rudyard Kipling’s novel, but school had just started and she had spent every dime she had on clothes for three school-aged boys. So I was content for a while to relive the movie through Disney’s colorful book, and even tried to imitate the voices of Baloo, Bagheera, and Kaa, but especially Bagheera and Kaa because I knew them as Mr. French and Winnie the Pooh. (Look it up.)
I eventually got the Kipling book and was as enraptured by it as I was by the movie. I read that book a dozen times growing up. Fifty years later, though, it’s not Kipling’s book that stands out in my mind, it’s the movie. Here is why I make reference to it. The elephants. Remember? In the Disney movie Col. Hathi, the commanding elephant is a true leader, a benevolent and kind figure whom every other elephant follows.
No. I am not going to compare Col. Hathi with God. I will, however, contrast him with God. In rewatching, I realize that most of the time the elephants do not follow Col. Hathi, rather they follow the elephant that follows the elephant that follows the elephant that follows the colonel.
God never asks us to follow anyone else but His Son. Not once did Christ say, “Follow James. He is following me and I am making him a fisher of men.” He never said, “Follow John. He’s young but he’s wise in spite of his youth.”
Christ inevitably called – and still calls – every man, woman, and child to follow Him. He never calls us to follow a man who is following Him. Sure, we can learn from our pastors and teachers and Christian mentors, but we follow only Christ.
Jesus sits at the right hand of the father, and, if you have accepted Him as your Savior, His Spirit lives in your heart. He acts as our advocate. He teaches us, guides us and even prays for us when our broken spirits cannot utter a word. He preserved all things necessary for salvation and discipleship in His Holy Book, the Bible. All you have to do is follow His command when He calls you.
And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. – MARK 2:14
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Holiness is, perhaps, the most misunderstood concept in Christianity. Anyone who has striven to follow the life of Christ can likely tell you that it is impossible to do. No one can match His love, His grace, or His compassion. For no one but Jesus is perfect. Once the believer is filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, though, he or she is filled to the brim with the love of Christ, and desires nothing more than to please God and follow in Christ’s steps. The love of sin is gone. In its place is a love and passion for others. That is Christian Holiness. This is Christian Holiness Daily.