I am behind a little on this Radical Walk with God. How did we get to chapter 5 already??!!
This weeks reading covered the topic of discipleship. When I think of making disciples, the first thing that I think of is a small group that I was involved in as a young beliver. I don't remember the name of the study materials that we used but I know that it had the word "discipleship" in it. I was so excited to begin learning the truths of the Word of God and was so happy to have an "older" believer in the body of Christ walk with me through the experience. Allison was only 4 or 5 years older than me but she definately was more mature in her faith!
What I did not know then is that the discipleship did not happen via the material. Don't get me wrong, the material was great and very helpful. It was a catalyst for discipleship that occured because Allison made time to meet with me, invest in my life, and encourage my search in my newfound faith.
Discipleship happened because Allison was commited to walking in RELATIONSHIP with me. As David Platt states in his book Radical, "Making disciples is not an easy process. It is trying. It is messy. It is slow, tedious, even painful at times. It is all these things because it is relational." (93). The short period of time that I was learning about the basics of the bible was a time that forever impacted my relationship with Christ. I learned many truths that to this day I refer back to over and over. They are foundational to my beliefs. I also learned that being a Christ follower is not lived out with my nose burried in the book. It is lived out day to day as I walk in relationship with my heavenly Father, believers, and unbelievers in my world.
As I've been reading this book and hearing messages from other sources I have discovered (with much conviction!) that my faith is not about me at all! It is about how I can share the Gospel with those in my midst and how I can bring glory to God through my life. As I think of discipleship, I am reminded of a young woman who was commited to pouring time, energy, and love into my life. As I remember those lunch hours with Allison, I am encouraged to pour out my life into others in intentional ways, building relationships. I want to be a blessing to those God places in my path.
I am encouraged to seek all that God has for me in my relationship with Him so that I can be a benefit to another. As Platt writes, "In order to teach someone else how to pray, we need to know how to pray. In order to help someone else learn how to study the Bible, we need to be active in studying the Bible. But this is the beauty of making disciples. When we take responsibility for helping others grow in Christ, it automatically takes our own relationship with Christ to a new level". (100-101)
So, where does this take me and how can I apply this lesson to my life today?
I am encouraged to open my eyes and see where God has placed me at this moment. I am living with a couple who are fairly new in their walk with the Lord. I am commanded to love them with the love of Christ and invest my time and energy into their lives.
I am also involved in a ladies small group on Thursday mornings at church. I love my group so much and am so excited to see how God will use us to disciple each other. I have already been blessed in many, many, sweet ways. I am praying that as I grow in relationship with these ladies, that God would use me in their lives too. He has definately used them in mine!
Discipleship is a sweet thing. Let's make sure that we are seeking to walk in relationship with those that God has placed in our lives making disciples!