Ever wonder how someone who has only been a Christian a few months can start discipling another woman? It’s because she isn’t the primary discipler…. God is! And that’s true for someone who has been a Christian for thirty years too!
The Greek word for discipling someone is μαθητευω. It means to instruct with the purpose of making a disciple, “to become attached to one’s teacher and to become his follower in doctrine and conduct of life.” (Spiros Zodhiates, p. 936, The Complete Word Study Dictionary).
Do you want someone becoming attached to you? Following your doctrine and conduct in life? Or would you rather have them following Jesus? Becoming His disciple, learning to respond to Him as their discipler?! As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ!”
And check out what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:4-9, “For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything but only God who gives the growth.”
I love how Paul emphasizes in 1 Corinthians 3: 6 and 7 that growth comes from God! And in Ephesians 2:10 he states that we are God’s workmanship! God is the one at work here folks! He doesn’t need us to accomplish His purposes, but He chooses to involve us so we can experience Him as we join in with what He’s doing! Does that ever take the pressure off!
I sure don’t know what another person needs! Let alone where God is at work at any given moment. However, it does require a unique approach once you truly get this!
One of my all time favorite verses for discipling (and parenting!) is found in Isaiah 40:11 where it states, “He gently leads those who have young.” I have found this to be so true!!!
But note that God “gently” leads.
In college I took a course called “Exceptional People” where we learned about people who are handicapped (little did I realize then how pertinent this class would be!). When we studied about blindness we learned when you want to guide a blind person you don’t grab them by the arm and yank them around. Instead you “gently” place your hand on the inside of their elbow and apply a little pressure to indicate whether they need to go to the right or left.
I have found that to be such an accurate picture of the way the Lord usually leads. He doesn’t yank us where we need to go. Rather, in a gentle way, He is right there guiding us, but we need to be focused, we need to seek to be sensitive to Him guiding us or we can easily miss out… and so can those we’re meeting with.
Especially as His ways aren’t our ways (check out Isaiah 55:8&9)! We can’t automatically know the way He’s going to lead us, let alone the way He wants to lead us as we lead someone else!!!
This is one of the key problems with discipleship programs! It’s so easy to rely on the program or the plan and not on the Lord.
But when you do seek to be sensitive to the Lord’s leading, hold onto your head! It will be an adventure for both of you like you’ve never before experienced! Because as you spend time together one on one, guess what….!!!! The Great Discipler is at work discipling both of you! :0)