Tuesday, September 08, 2009

In Other Words---Being a Disciple


I fear that I would make an excellent Pharisee. I like to know what it is that is expected of me, that way I have the best possible opportunity to succeed. If I know that three potlucks a year plus two in-my-home gatherings plus a casserole for someone who is sick is what is expected to be hospitable then I can do that. If you explain that forty-eight out of fifty-two Sunday meetings is what "not forsaking meeting together" means, then I've got that covered. What does it mean to "meditate day and night" on God's word? How far do I need to carry my cross? Give me some details! I want to be a disciple, but how do I do that?

See, the Pharisees were seeking to make things clearer for everyone. They were defining the more global commands. And, we do the same thing! We just deny that we are being Pharisees when we do it. We define spiritual acumen by the success of ministry or size of congregation. A thorough delving into a difficult passage must indicate that someone is a "better" disciple than someone who "just" knows a few verses. We set up criteria of what is a "good" "better" and "best" disciple--usually as a means of alleviating some of our guilt that we are not doing enough whilst at the same time showing that we are doing more than others.

But that is never what God intended. He intended for us to follow him. He intended for us to trust him. He intended for us to love him. He promised to do the growing of us---if we were just faithful to allow him access to our lives.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:29

He just wants faithful access to my life. What a relief! I don't have to tick all the right boxes or be involved in all the right causes. I need to be faithful to follow him. He does the rest.

“What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness.”

Brennan Manning, Ragamuffin Gospel

Father God, today renew in me a spirit of faithfulness. Squelch the need for busyness in my heart. I want feet and eyes and a heart that is focused on following you. Because of Jesus' faithfulness....Amen.

Today my long-lost twinfriend, Tami at the Next Step, is our hostess for In Other Words. If you are not familiar with Tami's site, get thee over there and peruse. She says what I want to say, only with actual eloquence. And I know that you will be blessed by what she and the other amazing IOW ladies are saying today.


HisFireFly said...

You have shared wise words!

It's not about a set of rules and regulations rather about our faith in the One who calls us His own!

Karen said...

How true it is! Loved it.

Debbie said...

I love your honesty and transparency! How easy it is to follow our lists and check lists. But simply believing by faith and growing in my love relationship with Jesus is what it's all about. As I love Him more and more, my actions will be motivated by love.

Thank you for words of wisdom and also warning.

Tami Boesiger said...

Faithful access to our lives. . .I like it. So much less pressure. I need to drill that into my head and quit comparing myself to others.

Thanks also for your kind words, friend. You have lifted my spirit on many occasions. May you be comforted with the same comfort you give others.