Discipleship

Discipleship

We are called to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Being a disciple is an occupation that carries a job description which we must know as Christians. It is no use desiring to have the benefits of discipleship without knowing what the actual job entails. Benefits actually come after the job has been done. Before enjoying benefits, there are responsibilities to be fulfilled. A disciple is defined as a learner. It is someone learning at the feet of a Master. It is following the teachings of the Master. In reality, disciples are imitators of the Master . That is why Peter’s manner of talking betrayed him as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ when he was accused of being one of Jesus Christ’s followers. Although Peter denied, and cursed in the process of his denial, he was nevertheless identified with his Master through the way he talked as a Galilean. No disciple can have more than one master. Otherwise there would be confusion on who to follow. And the disciple can never be above his Master. It is therefore strange that we find today some disciples trying to be smarter than the Prophet of the Age. Those disciples who believe they are greater than their Masters always fall by the wayside. This is what happened with the 70 disciples who departed from the Lord Jesus Christ when He declared that they have to eat his flesh and drink his blood in order to have eternal life. Those disciples thought they knew better than the Lord and decided to part ways with the Lord. But the 12 disciples remained, although they, too, did not understand what Christ meant. They only stayed in obedience. The marks of discipleship are to bear much fruit, to love brethren and to always abide in the Master. The Lord Jesus Christ was described as Beelzebub at one time by the church world of His day. The same should happen to us today. The Prophet says that name-calling to the Christian is actually a sign of true discipleship, for indeed if they called the Master such names as Beelzebub, how can the disciples escape that onslaught? As disciples, we are working for the Messianic Empire of Heaven. We are in service of another kingdom from above. We are actually working on rescue missions, to pull God’s people from darkness into light of the Word. The primary goal of disciples is to love the Master first and foremost. That is why mother and father must come secondary. When the scripture says a disciple must hate his father and mother, it is not literal hatred but the fact that the parents must be loved less than the love given to the Master. There is no license for us to hate one another, as that would be breaking scripture as well. The point is that the disciple knows where priority should be placed. A disciple must deny himself, take up his cross and follow the Master. This means that there is a cost associated with being a disciple. That is why David refused to receive free sacrifices to give to the Lord. He said he could not give unto the Lord that which costs him nothing. There is a cost to discipleship. We do not believe in cheap grace, which ignores the cost and changes grace into disgrace. That is why we do not believe in forgiveness without repentance, which is one aspect of cheap grace. We do not believe in justification of sin without justification of the sinner himself. We do not believe in communion without confession, nor mere grace without discipleship. While we have indeed been called into rest, but there is something that we must do in return. Discipleship has challenges of its own. We need to make conscious decisions as Disciples of Christ. Self-denial, taking up one’s cross and following Christ are decisions that must be made. Decision making and action are required of us as disciples. We need to live for others, and place others higher than ourselves. When we are occupied with others, God comes around to cover our backs. After all, God’s armour does not have covering for the back. The back is covered by God himself through other believers who are moved to pray for us while we are busy praying for others. That is how God operates. We are the back-covering of our brothers and sisters. Our backs are covered not by ourselves but by the prayers of others interceding for us. That is why it is important to pray for others and live for others. God hates an Amalekite spirit, which attacks from behind. When Israel was sojourning in the wilderness, the Amalekites came from behind and smote the elderly and weaklings among the children of Israel. And God hated them for that. That is why God requires us to pray one for another, to cover the back parts. When difficult things come into our lives, we must never complain. We must simply bear the cross and follow the Master. After all, the cross that we bear has got our name on it. It cannot be exchanged for another. One’s cross cannot be swapped for another. Neither should we desire for our cross to be made lighter for us, for the weight of our cross is designer-made for us. God customised the cross for us. Only when we have endured the test will God entrust us with the Spoken Word Power. That is why the third pull was entrusted to Sister Hertie Wright, who desired salvation of her two boys when she was given the opportunity to ask anything she wanted from the Lord. Everybody in the world is a disciple of someone else. We see that John the Baptist had disciples of his own. Some of them went with the Lord Jesus Christ and some stuck with him. We also see that the Pharisees had disciples as well. And the Lord Jesus Christ had disciples. We see that disciples under one master behave differently, although they are under the same ministry. This brings us to the comparison of the eagle and the chicken, which are both classified under the family of birds. Like other birds, they both have a beak, feathers, claws, eyes and so on. Yet these two birds are totally different one from the other. The first difference is in the way the two birds fly. The chicken puts 100% effort into its flight and only flies fence high and collapses, extremely exhausted. The eagle, on the other hand, does not flap its wings as much as the chicken does. It allows the wind to lift it up into the heavens. That is why the eagle loves storms, which generate the proper aerodynamics for it to have heavenly experiences. The greater the storm, the higher the eagle flies. Secondly, the eagle’s eyes are right in front, which allows it to focus it binocular vision in the same forward direction. This means the eagle can look into the Word and extract the promises of God. The chicken however, has its eyes on the sides. It can therefore see everything horizontally on its left and right. It can pick up smaller details of what is happening to the left and right, but fails to see beyond that. It will be able to pick up what someone on the left hand is doing, and gossip about that, and observe what the one on the right is doing, and still carry on. The manner of looking at things is what made the difference between Gehazi and Elisha. Both were surrounded by the Syrian army but Elisha saw the heavenly host while Gehazi only saw the enemy. Therefore we learn the principle that any problem is really not a problem in itself. It is our position relative to the problem which is really the problem. When the problem is above us, we look at it in fear. But when we soar into the heavens and look down at the problem, we see it as a small thing. That is why we need to rise in the spirit and soar into the heavenly places in Christ from where we will see our problems as small dots. The other difference between the eagle and chicken is the beak. The eagle’s beak is able to hook into flesh and pull a chunk of meat and eat. The chicken can never do that. It can peck at the carcass until it is blue in the face but will never be able to pull out a small piece of meat. It is not made that way. Whereas the eagle uses mouth-to-mouth feeding style for its young ones, the chicken simply clucks and lets the young ones pick up grains by themselves. The mouth-to-mouth feeding of the eaglets is a beautiful type of the way the Word is delivered from God, through the prophet, and then to the people. The claws are equally different. The eagle’s claws allow it to grab and hold powerfully to the prey while the chicken claws are weak. So when it comes to a scripture like divine healing, both eagle and chicken disciples will see it in the Bible. But the eagle disciple is able to grab the promise with its claws and hold onto it. The chicken can also grab but then fails to keep its hold on that promise. When the chicken leaves that scripture, the promise remains behind because the claws have no power to keep holding on. Yet we know that when trials come to us, it is not the believer who is on trial, but the Word that is in him. That is why when the Word was in flesh, it was tried by Pilate and found innocent. So when Christ was tried by Pilate, we were there with Him. We were in Him. When Pilate declared that he finds no fault in Jesus, that declaration also applies to us. We are not guilty. That is why we do not stand again in judgement because we were judged already when Christ was judged. So we need to be confident knowing that the Word in flesh will always be tried but will prevail in all cases. The eagle’s scream and voice differs from that of the chicken. The eagle says we must come out of mystery Babylon, while the papal chicken says we are all the same. The eagle disciple has the tongue of the learned, which is the tongue of the disciple. The true disciple looks for joy as opposed to happiness. Happiness is temporal, self-centred, circumstantial and pleasure seeking. Joy is based on purpose and is futuristic. It is eternal. The Bible is full of examples of disciples like John the Baptist, who introduced the Messiah but later doubted his own testimony. We see Peter who denied Christ and went fishing, thinking that God will never have any more need of him. Yet despite their failings, these disciples are recorded in the scripture for our admonition. They serve to encourage us that it is not by our strength that we stand. When John the Baptist doubted Christ, we see the Lord Jesus Christ speaking positively about John as someone who is not easily shaken by the wind. When Christ resurrects, we see him tell other disciples to tell Peter to meet him in Galilee. Christ follows where Peter was, and asks them whether they have caught fish. He instructs Peter to cast the net on the other side of the ship and he catches a big draught. When Peter sees that, he rushes to the Master, and grabs the second chance of grace. The Syro-phoenician woman was a disciple with revelation. Upon being called a dog, she did not dispute but asked for crumbs reserved for dogs from the children’s table.

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