I have recently been reading Dallas Willard’s book, “The Great Omission”. The following excerpt still echoes in my mind:
“…there is absolutely nothing in what Jesus himself or his early followers taught that suggests you can decide just to enjoy forgiveness at Jesus’s expense and have nothing more to do with him”
Wow. A few years ago, God convicted me that there needed to be more to my life story than accepting Christ, calling myself a Christian, behaving reasonably well … and all the time still living my life. These were my thoughts at the time:
Bible Study? Boring.
Spiritual books? I’m too hip for that.
Fellowship with Christians? Will I have to wear different clothes or grow a long beard?
Pray? Only if I’m in trouble.
Quiet time? Life doesn’t happen sitting still.
Worship regularly? But Sundays are the only day I can sleep in!
Fast? Maybe for weight control.
God used a friend named Mark to disciple me – to convince me that there needed to be more to my faith journey. Mark shared with me his own spiritual disciplines – how he stayed close to God -- yet he kept his story real. He admitted his struggles but he told me how things were smoothest when God was the center of his life. Mark told me that the problems of life didn’t go away but his reaction to them changed.
I thank God for using Mark to encourage me to live life not just as someone who called himself a Christian, but as someone trying to be a true disciple. Powerful things happen when we come alongside one another. What if we all were sharing our stories and journeys in an open and intimate way with two, three or four co-workers, neighbors, friends, or family members? How would that transform the world?
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” We must be the workers. For whom can I play the role that Mark played for me?