A couple weeks back, I wrote a devotional about the importance of remembering just Who is calling us to be His disciples. This past Sunday’s message given by Elder Lesley Wong (“Come, Follow Me – Discipleship”) reminded me of the importance of also acknowledging & understanding
where you are “at”.
As Elder Lesley shared with us the important aspects of discipleship, he also shared with us the important fact that Jesus is calling each of us as believers into His discipleship–not just those who are ordained, or missionaries, or working for the church or Christian organizations. And His call for us to follow Him is lifelong, until the day we meet God face to face. At the end of his message, Elder Les left us all with a challenge to grow, and to hear God’s call to follow Him.
I think at times, it’s easy to evade the call of God to discipleship with the quick response that perhaps sound like:
- “Well, I’m not there yet.”
- “That’s just not for me.”
- “But I’m not ready to do that.”
- “I don’t think I need that.”
- “I’m already good where I’m currently at.“
- “I’ve already done that kind of thing, I don’t need it anymore.”
- “But I don’t really feel like it.”
If you’ve responded before in a similar way, I would understand. It’s truly no wonder that Jesus warns us specifically in Luke 9:23-27 that following Him would be hard–that you’d have to deny yourself and take up your cross daily. He knew our human-ness well.
But instead of just simply telling you not to think these things, I implore you instead to take a moment and really understand where you’re at before God–really ask yourself why this is your response. Otherwise, how do you deny yourself if you’re not honest with where “yourself” is at? Instead of “closing the door” instantly, understand why you’re wanting to close that door in the first place and try bringing it before God.
What I mean by this is: Don’t stop at that first sentence. Ask yourself “Why?” and be honest with why you’re hesitant to follow Him (whether it’s being in a Life Group, as Elder Les mentioned, or heeding to Jesus’s call to make disciples, or etc.). Bring all that you are before God. I encourage you to ask God to change your heart as it’s needed, too. I am comforted by Romans 8:26-27, which reminds me of just how much God knows me even when I don’t know what to pray or think. It reminds me that I can come before Him with all that I am, and ask Him to help me & to change my heart. I am further reminded of this when I read David’s cry in Psalm 139:
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!Psalm 139:23-24
As Elder Les pointed out, Jesus’ first disciples were ordinary, imperfect people–just like you and me. In their own way we see their hesitancy in following Jesus or making mistakes throughout the Bible (ex: Peter denying Jesus). Yet, knowing they’d be like this, He still called them to follow Him and to be like Him (perfect). In the same way, knowing us in all that we are, God equipped us with Himself (the Holy Spirit) and His Word to transform and grow us. And as Philippians 1:6 says, He who began a good work (Jesus) in us will bring us to completion at the day of Jesus Christ when He returns again–so we will always have room to grow while we’re here on Earth!
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”Philippians 1:6
And in this process, I’m thankful for God’s wisdom in leaving us with the instruction Paul left to the Corinthians to take every thought captive (even thoughts like this) to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). So I leave you with just these two questions today:
How is God calling you to follow Him and to grow in your faith today?
And what is your response?
& Be honest.
Instead of a list of questions, I want you to consider just these two questions and simply try praying over it, bringing it before God.
If you’d like some direction, perhaps try the following:
- Begin your prayer acknowledging God & thanking Him for Who He is.
- Read Psalm 139:23-24 as an earnest prayer from yourself before the Lord.
- Acknowledge what He might be calling you to do today. (ex: “Lord, I know that today, you’re challenging me and calling me to Life Groups”)
- Lay your response to that call at His feet. (ex: “But I am struggling to want to join because I just don’t feel like I need others in my walk with you.”)
- Ask God to speak into those thoughts & for the Holy Spirit to work in your heart & remind you of His Truth.
Spend some time listening to God and try to hear what the Holy Spirit may be speaking to You, or what God might be wanting to remind you of in the Word. When you’re ready, I encourage you to share with a trusted brother or sister in Christ what God may be speaking to you today. 🙂
Here’s a song of worship I thought of as I was writing this post:
Hungry for more?
We encourage you to feast on the word of God. If you’ve got some resources on your bookshelf, dig in! If you’re looking for more translations, resources, and devotional guides, try any of the following links or search for more online.
Create an atmosphere to encounter God
During this historical time, we’ve been collecting songs along the way. You can find the playlists on SGPC’s Spotify profile (requires a free Spotify account). Listen to old favorites and discover new songs of the season! Spring off into some of the suggestions generated by Spotify or search for your own go-to songs. These also work well as background music for studying scripture (or anything else).