The next topic in our series on discipleship is one that has taken time for me to learn, and one, which I revisit often. There’s my confession. So what exactly am I confessing?…my impatience.
We live in a “me” centered society and the nature of our demand is “I want it now!” We do not have much patience these days. We expect results immediately. However, if you have lived long enough you know that is not our reality. Often, things take time. In looking back over my own life and in seeking to disciple others, I have found that time is important to God. After all, Scriptures say, in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son…” ~Galatians 4:4
God set time in motion and made the sun to rule one half and the moon to rule the other, and then he called it a day…literally. God has chosen to work in the space of time and in that time we measure our world by the events that take place in it. Think back on the big moments in your life. They stand as reminders, for good or bad, of moments or seasons that changed your course or direction. These things happened over time.
With all that being said, God is working in that same time span to call and draw us to Himself. He has been super patient with you and me. That’s for sure. He has used events and people to meet you on your journey through this time and hopefully you have been changed by His love. When it comes to our growth as well as the growth of others there are simply no “quick fixes.” You and I are a work in progress and the people we pour our lives into are as well. It takes time.
With that thought there are two directions you can go. One is disillusionment. Without a proper perspective it will seem, at times, like those we pour into are not growing or grasping what it means to follow Jesus and we can become frustrated.
On the other hand, if we come to those we disciple in faith, believing that God is going to work, the pressure is not on us. We simply rest in obedience to God and believe that He is the one who will do the work in the life of those we disciple. I cannot tell you how many times I have come to a point in discipling someone where I feel that nothing is really happening and then, unexpectedly, something clicks and great strides are made in that person’s spiritual life.
Some time ago I was discipling a young man. He had been through some very traumatic experiences in his life and we had to go slow…I mean really slow. Gradually, we got through some hard questions and after months, he finally started reading one Psalm a day. This guy resonated with King David for a number of reasons and little by little he began to work through the jumbled confusion in his life. He finally came to a breaking point and God got his attention. Then he started growing in every perceivable spiritual way, but it took over a year to get there. Over the span of time God had been working to bring him to places of truth and honesty about himself so that he understood that his only hope was Jesus. It was awesome to see. My friend is still on his journey and the Lord is still working. In time, God brought us together and over that time God was working.
Have patience as you disciple others. Trust that God is working as you teach them what it means to follow Jesus.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9
What I Have Learned From Discipleship Series