Accepting Jesus Christ as Savior is easy. We learn at a young age that Jesus is knocking at our hearts and is asking to enter in. We sing songs of God's love. We so very quickly accept God's forgiveness when we sin. We can justify our actions through Jesus loving us as we are.
Following Jesus as Master and Teacher is hard. Again, we learn at a young age that the world is a cold, cruel place. We view hatred on TV and social media. To forgive when we have been wronged is almost impossible. To put another person's needs before ours is practically unheard of. To understand someone else's actions takes too much effort.
Jesus never said being a follower would be easy. As a matter of fact, he said that it would be a narrow road that few would be able to travel.
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Jesus also taught his disciples that following him would be difficult.
So what does it look like to pick up our cross and walk down the narrow road? Yes that is the image I have in my mind when I think about following Christ. It means to remove those things in life that are harmful to our walk with Christ. That may look different for you than it is for me. But the truth is, the enemy uses our weaknesses to diminish our discipline in our discipleship to Christ. What we need to do is strengthen ourselves and be aware when we are straying from the narrow path that Christ has called us to walk.
1. Pray daily. I know you have heard this a thousand times or more, but this is the cornerstone, the foundation of our discipleship. Communication is key.
2. Read daily. When we read God's Word we begin to digest and internalize it. When we read God's Word for ourself, it becomes personal, as God's Holy Spirit will begin to connect with our spirit.
3. Ask questions. Do not be afraid to ask God the "hard questions". After all, He is the one with all the answers. He tells us that we do not know, because we do not ask (Proverbs 14:6, Matthew 7:7)
To follow Christ and his teachings takes discipline. It is a simple truth. Discipline is hard. That is why so many fail. As Christians, we cannot be content with just "being saved". If you are comfortable with just drinking the milk of the truth of God, then ask yourself why are you even calling yourself a Christian?
To strengthen discipline, get around those who are strong in discipline. Find a community of believers who can help you to move pass the milk stage and people feeding you to eating the meat and you feeding yourself. At that point you will be able to begin to feed others, help them grow and become mature Christians. That is what we are called to do. Follow Christ, Take up our Cross and Teach Others.
~Peace & Blessings~