This is a small teaching from a book I'm writing about discipleship and brokenness. They both go hand-in-hand. Christians are to quick to call themselves disciples, and most "discipleship" classes are nothing more than getting believers to do what they should have been doing the first day they were saved.
Just because we read our Bibles, witness, pray, tithe and regularly attend a church does not qualify us as being disciples. Just because we do the basic commands and expectations of being a Christian does not make us a disciple. This first study from the book should show us that one of the first traits of being a disciple is learning how to be a pupil, a student, a learner of the Word. Being a good denominational student and knowing and walking out its creed and code of faith also does not qualify one for being a disciple.
What we will see in this book on brokenness and discipleship is that being a disciple is not the things done outwardly, but what we allow God to do to our heart inwardly.
There are four Greek words for disciple.
EVERY DAY IS CHOICE:
We are a busy, busy people with social, media, vocational, family schedules pulling us in all directions.
Who sits on the throne?
Who is Lord of our time and schedule?
Who will we serve, the Lord or someone/something else?
Every decision we make for God today will need to be remade tomorrow.
No microwave Christianity
No blanket decisions
No osmosis impartation of truth
We all get to maturity the same way...day by day decisions and being tried by fire.
Unfortunately there are believers who don't want to answer the question: Whom will you serve today?
1 Kings 18:21 ESV And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." And the people did not answer him a word.
BE A VOICE INSTEAD OF AN ECHO:
Learn to operate from a place or position of faith. If we operate from a place of faith we operate from a place of confidence in God, His Word, His character and His plans for our lives. Then we become a voice from God instead of just an echo of the world. It is okay to repeat what others are teaching, as long as what they are teaching is the Word of God. It is much better when that teaching becomes a reality in our lives. When this happens we are not just echoing someone else’s truth. Instead we become a voice from God to people.
THE IDENTITY CRISIS:
We are not called to lose our identity in someone else’s personality or someone else’s ministry. That's the Hollywood syndrome. We can and should love and respect our spiritual fathers and mothers, our instructors and mentors, and those who have gone on before us in the faith. But we need to come to the place of losing our identity in God Himself. I don’t what to compare who I am with who others are or what they are doing. I am looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.
“Father, who have you called me to be?”
THE HERO SYNDROME:
Sometimes we can be so starry-eyed over people who are in positions of ministry that we create heroes. We begin to believe that they glow in the dark. In this we forget that God has called us, and ordained us, and empowered us. Prayer is one of the tools for us to finding out what God has called us to do and empowers us to do it.
BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND:
I see people coming up to the altar to pray and I go over and ask them, “What are you praying for?” They respond with "whatever God wants." People come up to me and ask “Pastor Charles, can you pray for me?” I ask them “What are we praying for?” Over and over again I get the answer, “Oh, nothing in particular.” Well, that is what we will get, nothing in particular. We need to ask God for wisdom so we can know what to pray for. Start everything, even prayer, with the end in mind.
An AMISH experience: You Can't Get There From Here!
CHRISTIANS ARE CHRISTIANS BECAUSE THEY ARE BORN AGAIN:
DISCIPLES ARE DISCIPLES BECAUSE THEY ARE MADE FROM A LONG JOURNEY:
The journey to becoming a disciple:
The trip to becoming a disciple is not a quick trip, nor is it a straight trip without detours, stops and many people moving in and out of our lives. The road to salvation is straight and narrow, but the road to becoming a disciple has valleys, mountain tops and wilderness places.
When I was living in Pennsylvania, Debby and I would often visit the Amish. Each Amish family specialized in one area of expertise. One family made furniture, another made cheese and butter, another made quilts, one family worked with leather, and so forth. We began to learn the last names of some of the Amish families and what particular article they specialized in.
One day I remember being at an Amish family that worked with leather like belts. I asked them how to get to the Toyer family. The Toyer’s built oak and hickory furniture and I wanted an oak and hickory rocking chair. The response to the question I received has remained with me for over 25 years now. The Amish gentleman replied “you can’t get there from here.”
The Amish families rode in horse drawn buggies and it took a lot of time going from one place to another. Therefore, they would leave their farm and go to the next family and stop for a while and then head out to the next family and stop there. This was done until they finally arrived at the farmhouse which was their original aim.
If they were at the Miller’s farm and wanted to go to the Toyer’s farm, they would travel from the Miller’s to the Yoder’s to the Hochstetler’s and then to the Toyer’s. That is why they answer, “you can’t get there from here.” If they wanted to get to the Toyer’s they had to get there from someplace else.
Now let’s bring this into becoming a disciple. I want to say, “we can’t get there from here.” We can get there from somewhere else, but we can’t get there from here. It is a process of moving from one place to another were each move takes time and effort and crossing roads and fellowshipping with numerous people each who teach us something new about the Word and character of God. It is a process of becoming Christ-like in the soulish man whereby we decrease as He increases in and through us.
So the next time you meet a believer who is pouring the Word in you with grace and peace and you wonder why God put that person in your life, just remember, you can't get there from here.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.