The first year I was a Christian I devoured my Bible daily and was super active at my church, I even helped lead a service for handicapped people on Sunday afternoons! I eagerly read Christian books, and even joined a discipleship group where we memorized scripture and started learning about different spiritual disciplines. But I started noticing there was a big difference between what was happening in me and in how my friends who were being met with one on one were growing.
I was eager to grow! No doubt about that! And putting a ton of energy into it! But I was all over the place!
When I first asked Barb Choat if she’d disciple me, her response was, “If you can go for a month without saying yes to anything then I will.” What a wise woman she was! You can’t even imagine how hard that was for me, especially when my church called that night and asked if I’d design a mission program for kids! I love kids! And I’m passionate about missions!!! And I love designing programs!!! But crying out to God for strength, I said, “No.” And kept saying, “No” that whole month. And I’m so glad I did.
I desperately needed to slow down and focus. When you’re talking about laying a solid foundation for a lifetime of following Jesus, slow and steady wins the race! But I so needed outside help to be able to do this. A dear friend once shared with me, “If the enemy can’t get you to stop, he’ll get you so busy you don’t do anything well.” Was he ever having a heyday with me!
Barb’s challenge also made me count the cost – how much did I truly want to be discipled? And what was I willing to give up to gain this? Every time I said “no” that month (and trust me it was a lot!), I was saying yes to being discipled! Instead of being another activity on an already packed list, being discipled became a priority I had time for. So when we finally did start meeting – oh blessed day!!! – I was ready and available.
What a difference it made in my life because of this!!!
Beware of letting discipleship be something people try to cram into an already overpacked life – even if they ask for it! It will take time and energy. Where is that to come from? What are they willing to give up to make this happen?
One of the key goals of discipleship is helping people focus on Jesus – so they can learn from Him and follow Him. My first step towards this was initiated by the woman who discipled me before we even met for the first time!