Discipleship—what do I know about it? Is it something I attain to? We are living at the close of the age, a time when the church will face a great dilemma. People are turning away from understanding concerning the importance of having the mind of Christ. This dilemma is a mystery of iniquity, working through the avenue of rebellion when one deems his own preferences more important than true discipleship and spiritual reconciliation within one’s spiritual character. This is the partiality of self-willed vagabonds and drifters; they drink from their own table the lightness of mere milk, or even less than that. The hard things they have not learned. Things such as giving up, admitting wrong, surrendering offenses and many childish immaturities they have never resolved. I have come to a place in my position of leadership, where I will not allow anyone to speak in the congregation that is not under the consistent ministry of a shepherd. What I typically find in these wanderers is an untamed character that lives on its own premises of self-trust, despising the ones who possess qualities they admire. This yields results of individuality that are extremely harmful in the kingdom of God. In the book of Jude, we are given the complete description of these wandering stars. These often live off diets of easily digested milk, because it suits their own agenda.
Milk comes from the same source as the meat. Am I a Christian that has gone through life barely tasting meat? Have I become offended by those who dive into deeper depths of revelation and truth? There is a deeper well that most are not willing to pursue by conformity to God’s way. As true people of deeper faith, we can never take the thief’s route and steal into the fold without entering through the door. Many people will glean their sustenance almost entirely from others that have been led into deeper depths by their love for God, and obedience through the Holy Spirit. John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. V.2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. V.3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. V.4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
The true sheep will never fear unless the shepherd is the one that says, ‘wolf!’. There are other voices that cry wolf, but you can only trust the true shepherd. One of the clear signs of a true shepherd is that he calls his sheep by name. What does this mean? He knows them from walking with them for years through the many incidents they face.
There is a desperate need within the heart of every true saint to be transformed by the power of God on a continual basis in ways that are severe and extreme to the natural state of man. This seems easy until there arises the detested word—submission. The word submission suggests the humbling of one’s self in ways beyond what is easy. It is the surrender taking one from pride to humility, that Jesus requires for His children. This transformation of one’s character is what points to the true spiritual person, or the remains of a carnal man. A man will never be used by God if he cannot walk in submission to the one God places over him. It might appear differently at first, but true results are lasting. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls.
Many professors of Christ have no understanding of this truth. My experience in being a shepherd is quite extensive. I have rarely heard the request to be discipled in over 30 years of ministry. We live in a time when discipleship has become a gigantic problem because the age of rebellion has spilled over into Christianity. There are many who could become useful in the kingdom, but instead they become offended in small matters, and the result is simple—God will choose to not use them. How many times have I stood before a situation in someone’s life, but could not touch it because their carnal mind would turn to offense. If God is not using us, the reason is quite simple, and we must question: am I teachable? Am I a carrier of offences and what have I proven in this? Have I experienced true, holy submission to man and God? Do I honor and respect in all situations?
May this become a central part of your life, else God will continue to look for other people to use, and you will continue in uselessness. 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.