Listen to : http://www.doulosforchrist.org/audios/39
Every human being is facing a benchmark on how to live his life. Part of living according to that standard is to live as a follower. Our nation has become like this because there are many rebellious people. We are in trouble because we don’t follow, we always want to assert our own rights and we always want to get what we want. But right now, we need to settle our followership. And this can only be settled through discipleship. No one can be discipled unless he is born again. 1 Peter 1:23 declares that “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” Only those who were transformed would want issues to be addressed in their lives. Some people wants to lead but do not want to submit and follow. If you want to be a leader, you need to be a follower. Every place we go, God puts people who will be in authority over our lives. God said in the Bible that our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. As Jesus followed and obeyed His Father in Heaven, we should be the same like him in obeying the authorities over our lives. We have to be engaged in this disciple-making process. We have to be in this arena!
Discipleship is not a church game; it is restoring the image of man as God designed them to be in His own image. We must always humble ourselves and admit that we need people to change us. We need our leaders, the people inside the church and in our cell who will guide us in our walk with God. We can choose whom we want to disciple us. Do you want to be discipled by someone who is ungodly that will only lead you to destruction or be disciple by a godly one that will certainly bring out the best in you? Discipleship is not about what we say, but what the Word of God says. The reason why we don’t want to be discipled is because we don’t want the Word of God to confront us. We do not scrutinize the word of God. We allow the word of God to scrutinize us.
In Matthew 22:37-39 the Bible declares “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” We have to command ourselves to make God the first and the greatest. We need to be intentional in wanting to be a disciple. We must love following our leaders. If do not allow ourselves to be discipled, it will lead us into destruction, for in Proverbs 29:1 it says, “A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.”
Matthew 16:21-23, “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
This just shows how important discipleship is in our lives. Discipleship takes us out of our minds to be in God’s mind. His thoughts are not our thoughts. Whatever Jesus says, even if we don’t understand, we have to obey. It doesn’t matter if we understand or not, what matters is that we believe and follow.
As Jesus continues in Matthew 16:24-27, He explained how it is to be an authentic disciple. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” We lose our lives to be born again in spirit that we will be able to have no other image except of Christ.
An authentic disciple has a (1) DESIRE. Jesus says in John 4:34 that his food is the will of God who sent him and finish His work. There should be a strong affection of wanting Him more in our lives no matter what. We must have an appetite for Jesus. We need to want it because it’s more than a feeling – our desire must produce a decision. Let us remember that we always benefit in every thing that brings out the best in us.
An authentic disciple is in (2) DENIAL. We need to dethrone ourselves – admitting that we are in trouble and impossible without God. In Romans 6:6 it says, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” In denial, you are taking off the concept of your SELF. You are putting off the selfish desire of your heart, removing the old man and putting in the new man. We allow God to work in us because we are His temple. Life only makes sense if we are with God. Life only matters if God matters to us. Matthew 6:33 asserts that we should seek God first and His righteousness. We should have the heart to seek Him not because all shall be added unto us but because of who He is.
An authentic disciple experienced (3) DEATH. We need to take up the cross. It is not about our sacrifices but it is about our journey with God – having the thought that we will always overcome. Christ’s journey is also our journey. He already apportioned us with enough grace that’s why the joy of the Lord is our strength. It doesn’t matter who we are, God wants us to understand that He created us and He wants us to journey with Him. Because of this journey, we will be better.
An authentic disciple has (4) DETERMINATION to follow Jesus. It doesn’t have an expiration or dead-air that whenever our situation gets upside-down, we stop in following. If you have that strong will, following Him will direct you and give you that of godly nature.
Whoever we are or whatever we have are not indicators that we are successful – they are tools to make us or break us, build us or destroy us. We need to allow our circumstances to be in our advantage. We need to be disciples. The fear of the Lord must be innate in us. Discipleship is not about making us perfect, but everyday, we must have a decision to make that will transform our lives from glory to glory.