When Jesus walked the earth, he discipled a group of people. For those who were willing, He showed them God’s heart. He taught them about God’s kingdom and His plan for mankind. He also taught them about themselves. This meant he had to be brutally honest and speak the truth. The apostle Peter gave us a good example of this process in action.
Jesus saw Peter for who he was, but also for who he could be in God. He wanted to make Peter into something solid but there was work to be done if Peter was going to live up to his new name.
Today, we have the same opportunity to be discipled. We have the Holy Spirit and the word of God to guide us, we also have each other.
Part of God’s plan was to put us together in groups. Families and churches, where we could learn to grow and become solid for ourselves. Is your home a robust place of truth? Do our churches produce solid people? Do they take characters like Peter and disciple them towards becoming who God intended them to be? Sadly, at times, the answer is no. The solution is to find people who, like Jesus, can discern the truth and have the courage and wisdom to deliver it.
Secondly there needs to be an understanding, and a commitment to this process. We know in our families we don’t just walk out when it gets tough. We hang in there through the good and bad times and that becomes part what makes us who we are. A good marriage is built upon the ability to work through challenges and becomes stronger as a result. In the early years of our own church, many chose the difficult journey of discovering who they really were. Those who made this choice were richly blessed as they came to realise the power in understanding themselves, and ultimately God. Church became a reality and a way of life rather than something to observe and take or leave. It gave meaningful purpose to their lives. As iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27.17) so these people became stronger and able to deal with whatever life threw at them, and they were able to help those in need around them.
For this to work, the third element to this process is obedience. Discipleship, commitment and obedience. If God speaks, through His word, His Spirit or His people, then it is our responsibility to respond. That is the bit God won’t do for us! He cannot overrule our freewill; therefore we must ensure we do something with what is being said to us. I often ask the question ‘what is the Lord saying to you?’ This gives us the chance to search ourselves to see if there is anything that needs attention. Often it is an attitude, a set pattern of behaviour or a mindset that needs changing. Are you prepared for that? Finally, there is a battle to be had if we are going to experience the healing freedom found in Jesus Christ. Romans 7.15-20 describes how we don’t do the things we want to do but end up doing the things we don’t want to. This causes inner turmoil that leads to pain and destruction. Nobody wants to get married, then ruin their marriage. We don’t intentionally inflict confusion and disappointment on our children, and we try our best to get along with the congregation on a Sunday morning and witness to everybody that God loves them. It rarely works the way we want it to. So then, if we feel God has led us to the right place, let us determine to commit to the process of discipleship. As we journey in obedience, we will find healing through God’s love in the parts of us we didn’t even acknowledge.
If you would like to know more about what it means to understand yourself and experience God’s healing please contact us.