“Now while they were passing through the cities, . . .” Acts 16:4
Every day every one of us are faced with circumstances which constantly contradict the truth of who God says we are and our assignment as co-laborers in making disciples. Most importantly is knowing that in the face of contradictions and conflict, God has positioned us to succeed.
Thankfully we are no longer playing defense in life. No longer are we to protect our little corner of ministry, rather, we are now positioned to be on the offense. We are disciples who are aggressively advancing Jesus into the world.
Jesus is our superior strategy and strength, however, He will not force or coerce us into fulfilling His commission. It’s the responsibility of each believer to see themselves as shareholders in the cause, to use their gifts and abilities to the fullest redemptive extent, knowing only then can we share in the success of the mission.
Paul had successfully discipled Timothy by consistently pouring into him wisdom, insight, direction, and encouragement. Paul had prepared Timothy to serve and ultimately to lead others to do the same. There is a principle of discipleship here for each of us – our success in the mission is determined by what we do before the mission begins. A life under submission to the Savior supersedes success in the mission.
Radical obedience is the requirement for successful discipleship. It is what brings us into freedom, it replaces un-renewed patterns of thinking with freeing beliefs of His kingdom. It establishes our perspective and lifestyle to believe that everything Jesus asks of us is actually possible for us to do. It enables us to live fully abandoned to the will of Jesus, to live passionately and sacrificially. Until we are willing to live in radical obedience, we will be overcome by the contradictions and will not make the necessary efforts to win the battle.
Feeling the weight of the responsibility of radical obedience should impress on us the importance of being a disciple and discipling others. Who are you discipling?