Do we understand how to make the journey or what route to follow?
It is my observation, and research confirms, that most of us Christians do not have a clear picture of who or what we would be as a mature disciple. Nor do we have a clear picture of how we would function as a mature disciple. The best we can do is list some personal activities and church involvements we think are common to someone who is serious about God. Included in the list may be a lot of dos and don'ts we've learned or been told.
In addition to not having a clear picture of what God is aiming at, most of us don't have an understanding of the means by which God brings us to spiritual maturity. We don’t understand how to make the journey or what route to follow. The result is that many of us are stuck on a spiritual treadmill, repeatedly engaging in church and/or personal activities we've been told to do, but without seeing clear progress or experiencing the abundant life Jesus promises.
Furthermore, nearly all of us feel unprepared to carry out Jesus’ command to "make disciples" by guiding someone else to maturity. After all, if we aren't sure where we are on our own spiritual journey, or if we aren’t sure how we got to wherever we are, how could we possibly help someone else get here?
In this series of posts, I want to give you the best of what God has shown me in answer to the questions I've been asking Him all these years. What I will share has brought tremendous clarity for me about:
where God is trying to take you and me in this life,
the means by which He seeks to do this,
a "road map" for cooperating with Him in getting there, and
some milestones by which to measure one’s progress.
Together, these insights have removed the "snow" from my personal mental picture of becoming a mature disciple. This in turn has helped me to make sense out of the many activities on the to-do list I alluded to above, and to have discernment about which ones are truly beneficial. Having a clear picture has helped me to be motivated, even inspired, to engage in the activities that significantly contribute to transforming me into all God has created and desires me to be.
I'm not saying that what I share is the only way to "see" the picture. I certainly am not going to start a new local church or a new denomination with what I share. And the thoughts in this book may give you ideas that are better than mine and make all this even more clear for you and perhaps others. That will be wonderful! Let me know about it.
My only hope and prayer is that your reading and discussion of the (re)Think Disciplemaking blog will help you make a quantum leap forward in your own intentional pursuit of intimately knowing, understanding, and experiencing God and, as an overflow of that, in your effectiveness as one who makes disciplemakers. God bless you!