What is a Disciple? Definition words that identify a disciple are:
- a follower
- a personal follower
- a pupil of a teacher
- an adherent (one who supports)
- a believer
- a devotee (enthusiast or strong believer)
- an acolyte (assistant)
- a votary (one who makes vow of dedication to)
These collectively do explain what a disciple is and what discipleship is about but more needs be said about discipleship.
- A disciple is a child of God. There is a personal involvement. There is a physical and spiritual relationship. God is his Maker and Father. There is a connection, a bond. And so, one must first ascertain if he is indeed in a Father-son relationship with God. [Matthew 7:21-23] Without salvation or regeneration, there can be no discipleship. A person is simply a spectator of the life of another. He is but a 'fan'. Now, the child of God carries his own name but being a Christian, one also bears Christ. [John 17:23] This aspect changes his DNA. This aspect influences the person he is and becomes. This aspect influences what he does and what he's about to do.
- A disciple is a follower & imitator of his master-teacher. One can't serve 2 masters so a Christian must decide his place. "Will i be my own master or will i be a follower of Christ?" "Will i hold on to my own way of thinking or will i put on the mind of Christ?" [1 Cor. 2:16, Phil. 2:5-ff]
- A disciple does not let his personality get in the way of him being a Christian. God designed each of His creation for uniqueness but our corrupted, sinful nature causes flaws in our personality, character, and impulses. Every trait and impulse that does not rightly represent the Name we bear should not be "accepted as natural" or "ignored". We must deal with these by letting the Holy Spirit bring us into all Truth [John 16:13] and by letting Him cause HIS fruition in us: love, joy, peace, and, etc. [Philippians 4:8, 1 Cor. 13]
- The life of a disciple is a constant alteration. Many desire to hear yet few desire to follow, and knowledge is quite useless until you find application for it. There is so much information that's good to know; but, intelligence bears no intrinsic value if your life is not changed or benefited by it; that is, unless your goal in life is simply to download information or impress people with what you know. Truly, he who must be a disciple must sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to His Word. And he must walk from the experience, changed and obedient.
- A disciple is devoted. He does not fall away when circumstances are unfavorable nor does he rebel against the Master and Teacher nor does he blame Him for it. Scriptures talk about casting all things and issues aside [even accomplishments, Phil. 3] to stay focused on the pursuit of Christ. [Hebrews 12]. The disciple knows that in every situation there is learning and discovery. To the devoted, all that unfolds in life is a step closer to understanding and trusting God more. [Romans 8:28]
- A disciple is not just a consumer. He is also a contributor and producer. Discipleship is not into "buying products for personal enjoyment". It is into "production and manufacture." He takes in and consumes for personal growth. But then, he productively goes out and makes himself useful and fruitful for the Kingdom of Christ. This means doing what Kingdom Work may need him to do. [Rom. 12:11, Mark 10:45, Deut. 10:12,13, 1 Peter 4:10]
- A disciple values stillness. The lack of stillness in our life is a great hindrance to intimacy with God. In stillness, we come to know He is God in our life and over our circumstances. (Psalm 46:10). Jesus modeled stillness and solitude. He would spend time away from the multitude even away from His disciples to commune with the Father. [Luke 5, Luke 6]. Stillness is not something you wait or hope for to happen. Because, the demands of life will always be there. In fact, they tend to multiply. So, you must take it upon yourself to make stillness happen.
- A disciple is heaven-driven. He goes where Jesus is. He walks with Jesus. It's not going where you want to go and 'willing' Him to follow and bless you. You see, frustration comes whenever you steer away from the direction God has for your life, because you're running a different course, reliant on your abilities, wisdom, and strength. Contrary to the self-driven, independent person who seeks God's blessing on one's own plans, a disciple is a yielded and led person who goes where HIS will and blessing lies.
- A disciple is a student of the Word. [2 Tim. 2:15]. One cannot claim to be a disciple and yet not bathe himself in the discerning and refining properties of the Bible. [Hebrews 4:12]. Listening, reading, and studying God's Word is not about coming up with a journal full of notes.If a journal is to be written, the pages ought to be filled with lifechanges and shifts in direction or way of thinking.
We need to position ourselves into a place of relationship and obedience, not just knowledge. Don't just know. Grow.
Take time to have silence in your life so that you can see and hear fresh things from God. It's easier to see God move when we are still. (Ptr. J. Usher)
When you head in the direction that He is going, you tap into His will, His energy, His hope. (Ptr. J. Usher)
What does God sound like when He speaks? He sounds like His Word. (Ptr. J. Usher). If you want to hear, then open the pages.
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