As we talk of why we must have our own personal relationship with the Lord and not just follow others, we see an exhortation for this in The Song of Solomon. This Book was especially written for those whose life's pursuit is to become the Bride that our King so deserves. A key verse that all of these must learn is Song of Solomon 1:7:
"Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, where do you pasture your flock, where do you make it lie down at noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions?"
If we are just in the flock of His companions, the veils will remain and we will only obliquely be able to see His glory and be changed by it. This is why my goal in ministry has never been to make people my personal disciples but to help everyone I can to become a personal disciple of Christ Jesus Himself.
As we also can note from John 10, it is His sheep who know His voice, not His lambs. While we are young in the Lord, we will have to follow others until we learn to know His voice, but my hope is to have my own veils removed and those of all I can help along their way. We must see Him in order to be changed into His image, not just become the image of one of His friends.
What would any man think if his children all looked like his best friend? We need to consider what we're doing when we're leaders who are trying to get people to conform to us rather than to Him. Our lives can and should be good examples for others, but as the Apostle Paul stated, he was in labor until Christ was formed in His people. This is our goal.
One of the encouraging things I was shown when I was given The Vision of the Harvest twenty-five years ago was that there will be a generation of the most powerful messengers ever to walk the earth and all will be "eunuchs for the Kingdom's sake." This was not in the natural but in the spiritual. Just as natural eunuchs cannot even have a desire for the bride, but receives all of their satisfaction out of seeing the king's pleasure in her, so these will be for the Lord. Their whole desire will be to see the King's pleasure in His Bride, the Church. Their devotion will be to see the Church become what He wants, not what they or anyone else want. These are the true friends of the Bridegroom.
Have you noticed that there are no grandsons or granddaughters of God in Scripture? Everyone is first generation to Him. Our ultimate goal in ministry should be that regardless of what happens to us, if we were to die or fall away, those we have taught would not even miss a step in their pursuit of God. They will be unshaken if they were not built on a foundation of our teachings, but rather on a relationship to Him who can never fail or disappoint.
As stated, lambs, or young Believers, have to follow other sheep until they get to know the Shepherd and His voice well enough themselves, so it is not wrong to follow others until we mature. However, maturity is the result of getting close to Him, not just His people.
For this reason, I try to write and teach in a way that anyone at any level of maturity can understand and receive, but sown in almost every message is a call to those who are in pursuit of what the Apostle Paul called "the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (see Philippians 3:14). As we discussed earlier, when Paul wrote in Philippians 3 that he did not think he had yet attained but pressed on, he was not talking about salvation or redemption, which he received the day he believed in the atonement sacrifice of Christ. He did not consider that he had yet attained, even when writing near the end of his life, a high calling that few Christians perceive. Those who know for sure is the greatest treasure that can be attained in this life. This is the ultimate pursuit, the ultimate quest we can have in this life.