Sounds simples, doesn’t it?
It can be easy to let our discipleship journey slide as things become more overwhelming or things get busier.
Work is demanding. Study is also. There’s family commitments, and you haven’t seen those friends for months thanks to COVID. Also, that trip you planned overseas is now all but a distant memory and that’s really depressing and so instead you were going to go to Bluesfest but it just got cancelled again too.
While the world attempts to slowly spin out of it’s Coronavirus-induced coma all the demands of life before have come rushing back with an added sprinkle of guilt because you’ve been in hibernation like everyone else and you’ve gotta catch up on all of that plus there’s the plans you’re not sure you can make in case all that effort goes down the drain because of another outbreak and immediate-but-short-term lockdown.
I get it. I understand it.
Spending time with God to become more like Jesus may not have been high on your priority list. Or it may be on the list, but it’s somewhere down towards the bottom because it’ll take a lot of effort and, honestly, there’s a fair chunk of guilt attached to it too. You know you should have been spending more time reading the bible and praying, but when most of those prayers end up being about the pandemic it can feel super same-same and just a lot of effort to address.
Be cool. The same God that calls us to be and make disciples also loves us and knows what we’ve been going through. God understands. God knows that being a disciple is hard work. Jesus knows what is involved with being a disciple, and calls us to set down that worry, put aside the list, and hand that and all our worries over to him.
Living a life with God’s help, trying to be more like Jesus, will mean that some things take a back seat as we prioritise our relationship with Christ. It will mean we start to put things like small group bible studies, or opportunities to serve other people, ahead of our relaxation or down time. Developing as a disciple will mean we’re excited about gathering with our Christian family at church because of the value that brings us spending time with them. Being a disciple of Christ might also cost us personal relationships because people we care about don’t understand what living a life more like Jesus means to us and how enveloping it is.
We have to work at being a disciple. It takes effort on our part, and it has to be your decision (nobody can force us to be a disciple). As we lean in to our relationship with Jesus our desire to learn more about God and how to live our lives in a way that honours him grows and reflects our discipleship journey.
Jesus knows the cost of discipleship because it is what led him to be nailed on a cross, and be raised back to life three days later. Jesus knows what being a disciple is worth because he gave up his life so that we could have a personal relationship with our Creator God and know complete and undeserved forgiveness and love. Jesus knows that being a disciple is radical to the world, transformative to the communities we live in, and is eternally life-changing in its effect on us.
Jesus Christ knows the cost; he knows what it’s worth; and he asks us every day to be more like him…all for the glory of God.
Molk is the Senior Field Officer (North), and Young Adult ministry leader as a part of the PULSE team.