Myrmidons and Acolytes

Whereas the Myrmidons were fierce warriors of Greek myth, loyal to Achilles, anymore the name refers to a blind follower. Someone who obeys orders without question. Ironically, the word has its root in ‘ant’ (from the Greek) and, well, listen: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the Summer, and her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8, emphasis mine) You get the idea.

What is it in a leader that inspires others to look to them in a crisis? Something otherworldly, something hard to pin down and quantify. Because if you could identify just what it is that inspires awe and admiration, then wouldn’t everyone want to be followed, fawned over and worshipped in some way, shape or form? Food for thought. Maybe, maybe not. I believe that the void exists in everyone. The craving for some sort of attention. Reason I say this is because the world is an incredibly lonely place. Think of those who abandon society in favor of the solitary sojourn. Jack London, John Muir, Chris McCandless, to name a few. They marched to the beat of their own drum and that’s admirable. Those men had something in them that found their purpose in wandering. Granted, in the case of Jack and Chris, their lives didn’t end well.

However, there are times when God, for lack of a better term, yokes us to those who are following Him, in order for us to learn to do the same. Because, unless either we, or those who we’re following in lieu of our independence in this world, are following Jesus, then it’s like this:

“And He spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?” (Luke 6:39)

There is something seriously scary around those who inspire blind worship and duty. So much so that when you glimpse this in them, depending on your inward state toward God, it has the opposite—a repulsive—effect. The key to knowing which is which is knowing the inward witness of the Holy Spirit. Paul qualified it thusly: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

Anyone not following Christ is bound to lead us astray. And here’s the kicker, the only way to know who’s who, is to endeavor to know Jesus for yourself. Ask Him to lead you, He won’t let you down. If you’re willing to be taught and discipled of someone who’s been where you’re at and has made it through the trials as pleasing to God, great. God may well introduce you. But never lose that inward focus on God for yourself. Because only up to a certain degree can someone appropriate the spiritual food you need to make it in the world at large. This is why the writer of Hebrews wrote: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…” (10:24-25a) We do it for others, they do it for us. We lead, we follow, we get out of each other’s way.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons (and daughters) of God.” (Romans 8:14)

The man in John, chapter nine, whose blindness Jesus healed, didn’t see Jesus prior to having His eyes opened. But he heard His voice. And the moment Jesus met him again and talked with Him face to face, he recognized Jesus as the one worthy of worship.

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