The Great Commission is a well-known command in the Bible:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20).
Do you consider yourself a disciple?
Is it a title we give ourselves or does Jesus anoint us with it?
Early in my walk with Jesus, I flat out didn’t know what a disciple was. With little Scripture under my faith belt, what I knew … what I did not doubt was that I was no longer lost. Though my parents were long gone, I now had a Father in Heaven who loves me unconditionally and listens to my every utterance.
Soon after, Jesus rode in on a mighty white horse, reached down with holy hands that know hard work, and snatched me from forty years of sin.
Spiritual growth is kind of like walking a series of waves. Fearless in the newness of amazing grace, you go anywhere fully trusting you are protected. After all, you weren’t saved just to drown, right?
Somewhere in the middle of this powerful surge of water, time suspends. A clock has no place.
The salt on your skin seasons your soul. The mere force running over and through you shakes out impurities. All the while, you realize you are standing on something solid, that doesn’t wash away or retreat. You learn to focus your breath so you don’t swallow anything that will choke you. This baptism physically opens your chest and lungs as you receive the life you never knew, the one that was long-missed.
What could be suddenly or painstakingly, you know you are through the forceful wave. Your clothes are dry, your heart pliable, and your soul no longer thirsts. You feel full in every sense of the word for the first time in your life.
Then your ears hear,
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
I do, Lord. Yes, send me. I want to be Your disciple. I choose to carry the cross to follow You, just as You carried Your cross to follow Your Father.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it” (Luke 9:24).
Lord, I don’t have to save my life. You did. Will you show me all I need to lose, all I need to surrender?
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luke 9: 25).
Lord, I trust You made me to be not of this world, but yes I must live in it. That is where I will find Your sheep, the ones who You have asked be baptized and made into disciples.
“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26).
Lord, my soul sings Your praise. How precious a day that will be, to witness Your glory and that of God and oh the holy angels! Lord, I pray the hearts who are ashamed of You be softened, be brought into Your will. Lord, I also pray for wisdom and an anointed discernment to know which sheep to gather, which of them to lead Your way. I pray these things in Your holy name, Amen
Now does this mean I am a disciple?
Jesus gives us the choice, and I said yes.
Have I followed His commands, obeyed His teachings as He references in our first verse?
He knows we are imperfect humans who make mistakes in the way we think and act. His disciples did too:
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesu had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted (Matthew 28:16-17).
Doubted, when you have seen the risen Jesus? Doubted, when He gathers you face-to-face to speak life into you?
The truth is we all have doubted somewhere along the way. If not overtly, then covertly. In the way we word our prayers, in the way we join in worldly negativity, in the way we give up on hope.
Through all sin in us, there is a mighty grace abounding upon us.
Our hearts are holy treasure for the One who created us. There He will determine whether you meet the criteria to be His disciple.
When He has opened the door for me to speak to groups of His people, disciples in the making, He has blessed the people through me when I have obeyed Him.
My conclusion? The title of disciple is not fixed. Jesus can take it away if we choose to go astray from His commands.
Friends, this is why I can only take one given day at a time. My focus needs to be Jesus first in prayer, in thanksgiving, in praise … because I desire to be His disciple.
Thoughts? Questions? This post spent a long time in my heart before I wrote it. Spirit knew I was no expert on advising people and convicted me in that way. This post is intended to encourage your deeper dive into His truth and prayer if you also desire to be a disciple.
Happy November 1st! I am praying about blogging a series of holiday devotions. Shorter posts with one central truth for us to sink our teeth into. How does that sound?
All photos are from Pixabay in this post.
Have a blessed day.