I’ll follow Thee, of life the giver
I’ll follow Thee, Suffering Redeemer
I’ll follow Thee, deny Thee never
By Thy grace, I will follow Thee…


I’ve been half-joking with my wife about getting the statement “I Will Follow” tattooed on my left bicep, underlined by a grape vine that encircles my arm. Why would I do such a thing? She doesn’t think it’s the best idea I’ve ever had. She may be right. She doesn’t necessarily see how those three words and a grape vine will serve as an active launch pad for tattoo evangelism.

Why would I get those three words and a grape vine tattooed on my arm? To remind me of my calling. You see, the fact of the matter is that this life of discipleship is not of my own choosing. This life of Salvation Army officership is not my cup of tea.

However, it is not about me at all. It is all about Jesus. It’s about his call on my life. It’s about him leading me to where my natural man does not want to go. It’s about him giving me the cup he’s set aside for me to drink. Will I drink it? Will I drink all of it? I will…I will follow…I will follow him to the drinking of his cup in the Garden of Gethsemane.

I would get those three words and a grape vine tattooed on my arm to remind my fellow sojourners of what each one of us is called to. So often, I hear so people claiming their rights, asserting their will, proclaiming their dreams, saying how they think their gifts should best be used. What is that? What kind of talk is that for a disciple, for a Christ-follower? We follow him who did not regard his equality with God a thing to be grasped. We follow him who took on the form of a slave. We follow him who was humiliated on a gross Roman cross. We follow him who laid everything aside for the sake of redeeming his enemies. I have no claim left on my life, and neither does any other Christ-follower. He alone has the claim, and he simply bids us to follow him. So, I will follow…I will follow no matter where he leads.

I would get those three words and a grape vine tattooed on my arm to remind me that I am to abide in the one True Vine. Apart from the Vine I am nothing and can do nothing. Apart from the Vine the natural man in me would be a wild vine that bears wrath and sin, rather than being a luxuriant vine bearing fruit that remains. I have had my opportunity to be wild; and the time past was sufficient for me to discover the vanity and vexation of the wild vine. Now, however, I choose to abide in the True Vine. I will abide in Jesus Christ and bear much fruit; and in so doing, prove to be his follower.

Well, perhaps the tattoo isn’t the best idea. Perhaps the following and abiding will just have to be lived out as a testimony, as a declaration of my life devotion to the person of Jesus Christ.

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