Some time ago I posted a list of troubling statistics that detailed just how little our faith seems to be impacting the way we live our lives? The root cause of the unhinging of what we say we believe from how we live is a lack of intentional discipleship. Because we haven’t figured this out we struggle to live up to Jesus’ expectations. If we would commit to a life of intentional discipleship there is no doubt in my mind that our actions would match what we say we believe.
Without intentional discipleship we may be able to grit our teeth and struggle our way into behavior that matches our teaching, but over time, our real hearts will begin to show through. We can only try our way to changed practices for so long before we revert back to what is true inside. If, however, we engage in intentional discipleship our inner lives begin to transform, and when our lives are transformed, we begin to live the lives we were created to live. When we are transformed, the abundant kingdom life becomes an inner reality that influences everything we do and flows out like streams of living water.
We have said that a disciple is a student, a student of the master, but since we can’t follow Jesus in the same way the Apostles did, what does it look like for someone to follow Jesus today? What are the characteristics of a modern, intentional discipleship?
I’d like to suggest that intentional discipleship is surrendering to the Father’s will and walking in Jesus’ presence constantly. This surrendering and walking brings us into the kingdom by cultivating within me the life I was created to live. I become the person God created me to be by the transformation of my inner character into the image of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe this understanding of discipleship encapsulates the key elements of following Jesus. Over the next few weeks what do you say we spend some time unpacking this definition?