Intentional DIscipleship Part 5: Constantly

Intentional discipleship is surrendering to the Father’s will and walking in Jesus’ presence constantly.

Intentional discipleship brings every single aspect and every single moment of our lives into the discipleship relationship.  Discipleship cannot be restricted to “spiritual times.”  Jesus is a rabbi, and a rabbi teaches his students as they walk through life together.  I often wonder if many of the parables were born out of something Jesus and his disciples observed in the midst of everyday life.  Perhaps he saw a man planting a field and he said, “The kingdom of Heaven is like a man who planted good seed in his field” (Matthew 13:24), or maybe he began to teach, “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard” (Matthew 20:1) after walking by the men waiting to be hired for the day.

When we walk through life as his disciples, we experience the same sort of teaching.  Every day activities and experiences become valuable lessons and opportunities to be transformed.  There are no mundane observations or experiences.  Every moment is an opportunity for God to speak into our lives in a meaningful way.  Remember, we are not asked to DO discipleship, but to BE disciples.

Brother Lawrence is known as “the kitchen saint” because he saw every moment of his day, even his time working in the kitchen (a job to which he had a “natural aversion”), as time in the presence of God.  Brother Lawrence is a living example of what Paul describes when he teaches us to “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  In fact, Lawrence thought the connectedness we experience in our everyday lives should flow into the set aside times of devotion rather than the other way around.[1]

If we are going to be disciples, we have to understand that our whole lives must be connected to the vine.  We don’t go to a “quiet time” and hope that experience can carry us through the rest of our day and the rest of our lives.  A dedicated time for prayer, study and other spiritual practices are important and valuable, but we don’t leave God when we leave this time.  We continue to follow Jesus and stay connected to the vine throughout our everyday lives.

[1] Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God: With Spiritual Maxims (Boston: New Seeds Books, 2005), 10, 15.

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