By Stefanie McGowan
We’ve been going through a series here, and if you’ve missed it, I encourage you to scroll back through. Because if we were sitting face-to-face, I would want to ask your thoughts on “Discipleship as a Lifestyle.”
When you hear those words, what comes to mind?
What do you think of?
Does the Great Commission pop into your head?
Do you automatically think of loving your neighbor as yourself?
Do you think about sharing the Gospel or people coming to know Jesus?
Maybe you think of “Sunday Christians”, or our need of Jesus in the other 6 days.
We’ve been discussing this topic here at GraceEnough.org for the past few weeks.
But why? So what? Why does it matter?
Because unless we actually spend some time talking with Jesus about what it really means for discipleship to be a part of our everyday, well, then we’re just kidding ourselves.
We’re going through the motions of what following Jesus might look like, but not actually choosing Him every day. Are you with me?
My friend, discipleship is a lifestyle.
It’s choosing every day to take up our cross and follow Christ.
It’s choosing every day to boast about our weakness, knowing Yahweh is bigger, and in control.
It’s surrendering to The One who perfects our faith, who makes us whole, who advocates for us, and stands in the gap as we stumble, and fight, and fail, and grow.
He redeems us in the everyday. And His mercies are new every morning.
The work of salvation on Calvary is finished, but the good work that Christ has started in you and me, to make us more like him, will continue until His return.
It’s in these moments, right now, these days and weeks that turn into years, which are the culmination of our lives. And for the disciple of Jesus, they are a beautiful picture of redemption. Our lives prove God’s grace. And choosing Him is a life worth choosing. A lifestyle worth living.
For as The Lord calls us to follow Him, our job is to respond “Yes, Lord! Your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10) and “Here I am! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)
Yes to believing Jesus, to obeying Him, and trusting Him… over and over, and over again.
It’s a lifestyle that is completely unpopular.
And it sets you apart.
It’s where your fear and faith collide, springing forth into a surrender of the very One who created you. It’s very simply, a hearer and do-er of The Word.
To be a “disciple” of Jesus, literally means to be “a learner”, or “pupil” of The I AM.
Would you consider yourself a student of Jesus in your everyday?
Studying Jesus, learning of Him, marveling at Him, being an image bearer of Him? Choosing His way, over your way, in the little and the big things?
It’s HARD! And it’s a lesson I will learn until I die. But what a privilege, to learn to do things God’s way.
Even in lessons of everyday discipleship that come from lying to your daughter. Oh man… I lied to my little one recently. It was the first time I’ve ever done anything like that. But Hallelujah, God uses those moments!
You see, I found a torn and tattered doll, with broken limbs, and mangled hair. A homemade keepsake that had seen better days, and it was time to throw it away. So I did.
And the next morning, my three-year-old came to me with crocodile tears, claiming her dolly was missing.
“I don’t know sweetie, I’m sure it’s here somewhere.” I said.
But I knew all along where it was.
And there was no distracting her. There was no forgetting. She searched and searched, and as she did, my heart sunk.
The Spirit’s conviction washed over me as I continued to lie, and as her tears streamed down, I finally just stopped. I prayed. And realized this wasn’t about the doll at all.
This was about a heart condition… and a Gospel moment, where I could show her my need of Jesus. This was a lesson in everyday discipleship.
My flesh wanted to be right. I wanted to lie. And I wanted to be perfect in her eyes. But not at the expense of compromising the truth or ignoring the Holy Spirit. I’d rather her see me fail… And in it, have her see why Jesus came to save us from our sin. To save us from hiding forever, and living in shame, separated from the Father.
I would rather her know that conviction is good, and perfection is a lie.
So I turned to my tiny girl, squatted down low, and confessed:
“Hannah, Mama made a bad choice. And I didn’t tell the truth.
I know where your dolly is, and I threw it away because she was yucky. And I am so sorry.”
And with the sweetest reply, she looked me straight in the eyes and said:
“I forgive you always.”
And just like that, all was made new.
And she taught me about Christ’s heart.
I spent the next moments digging through garbage to scoop out her treasure. And together we washed off the coffee grounds, and we super glued broken pieces, and cut and combed through knotted hair… and as we did, the Gospel was made perfectly clear to both of us.
We need a Savior. Someone to make us new, every day, and wash us clean. We need someone to help us pour out truth, into every moment, and every one we get to come in contact with. We need Jesus. And this is the power of the Gospel, the Good News that The Lord redeems all things, and makes all things new.
Friends, this is everyday discipleship. This is the other six days.
And whether it’s through a ragamuffin doll, or a bold faced lie; whether you squashed the Holy Ghost or messed up a thousand times… The Good News that Jesus sets us free, is every reason, everyday, to take up our cross and follow Him.
Discipleship starts with the Word made flesh.
To be a student. A hearer. A learner. And one who obeys.
Be the one who makes the decision that the sum of your moments, will be moments where you chose to trust the One who is trustworthy. Where your life was ultimately found in Christ alone. Be the one whose lifestyle overflows with truth and life from God’s Word, as you put your faith into action.
Not in our own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit in us.
My friend, discipleship starts with you, with me...
And it’s for His glory alone.