As we continue our series on discipleship, remember that we began with need to make a decision and engage in discipleship. Then trust that God will give you the strength and wisdom to do it.
The second thing and one of the most surprising I might add is what I call the Hidden Treasure of Discipleship. Remember, the point of discipleship is to help people understand and show them what it means to follow Jesus. Most people naturally think is that it is about the other person and in a way it is, but what I have also found is that when you think you are the one giving you realize that it was really God who was giving and not just to the other person.
Think about this. You watch someone grasp at a deeper level what it means to follow Jesus and you are blessed with the reality that in all your weakness and struggles God has used you to be a part of someone’s life. It is a beautifully powerful and fulfilling thing. As you see God working in their life you suddenly realize that God is helping you grow in the process. The wonderful thing about living in obedience to God is that while you are obeying… God is working to help you grow and mature as a believer. So one of the Hidden Treasures of discipleship is Personal Growth. You both grow at the same time. The one discipling is being taught and matured through the work of the Holy Spirit while the one being discipled is growing and maturing as well. That’s awesome!
Another jewel in the Hidden Treasure is the Reminder. When you disciple you are teaching and showing the other person things that God has taught you on your journey. In doing so you are reminded of those spiritual lessons and you find that you need them today as much as you did when you first learned them.
I am stunned at my propensity to drift away and forget the things of God. Those wonderful truths God has taught me over the years that have helped me to grow are so often covered up by the busyness of life and all the stuff that gets piled up in my brain and on my heart. I think that is why the children of Israel recounted the Red Sea Crossing and deliverance from Egypt all the time. Over and over again that story comes up. Even though it was such a big deal in the national conscience of Israel they still found themselves forgetting the goodness of God and His deliverance. I would like to be able to point a finger at them, but I can’t. I forget too.
However, when I disciple someone I am reminded over and over again of all the good things God has done in my life and taught me over the years. Therefore, discipleship becomes a precious part of our lives as we relive and retell it with someone else.
Another jewel in this Hidden Treasure is Accountability. Not only do I remember what God has done for me, but I also remember that I am teaching and leading someone in what it means to follow Jesus so I had better be living that out as well or I have become a hypocrite of the first sort. Trust me, none of us want to be that person. That will keep you on the straight and narrow. So I find that when I choose to live in obedience and seek to make disciples, I find that God is helping me to grow, reminding me of those things he has taught me, and helping me remember I am accountable to Him. And you thought it was just about the other person…so did I. These are just a few of the treasures that you will find when you begin to disciple others. It is an amazing journey and it is one that we can all be on.
In closing let me offer a thought. Could it be that the church in America has by in large become anemic and powerless because we have not engaged in making disciples and helping people to grow in Jesus. Maybe our religious boredom, which changes nothing in our lives and actually can cover up the deeper issues, has become so prevalent because we are not growing, being reminded, and are forgetting that we are accountable to God. I don’t have it all right. Ask Heather….or just take my word for it. But, there is one thing that I believe in so much that I am willing to stake my life on it and that is God calls, equips, and empowers us to do his will. Our role is to believe him, step out in faith, and GoDisciple.