Last week I finished the NavPress’ Design for Discipleship 3: Walking With Christ. I think the overall point of the study is summed up well in the first chapter, “We must remember… that there is no such thing as ‘instant maturity’ in following Jesus.” The book does what I think is a pretty decent job of setting up four crucial steps in that maturity in the later four chapters.
1) Recognize the Lordship of Christ (Chapter 2): Revelation 19:16 is pretty clear on this subject… and Philippians 2:9-11 makes the point pretty well that either He’s our Lord now, or He’ll be our Lord later (and that won’t be pleasant). An old pastor of mine used to say that there was a reason “LORD” came first in “LORD and Savior.” The illustration on page 33 is a great check, and should be performed often.
2) Have true faith in God and His promises (Chapter 3): The entire Old Testament is a play-by-play record of some of God’s early promises to men… and more importantly, how He fulfilled every one of them to the letter. 1 Kings 8:56 says that not one word has failed.
3) Seek and know the will of God (Chapter 4): This one is the hardest for me, I think. I’m a planner, with a calendar and budget that are updated almost daily, SMS reminders of important appointments, and a written menu posted to my refrigerator each week. I hate not knowing exactly how things are going to go down. So Ephesians 5:15-17 and Colossians 3:15 are tough for me. I want exact answers when I go to the Word or to other believers… but I just have to be content to walk with Christ and follow His plan as He reveals it.
4) Live as a servant to all (Chapter 5): Philippians 2:5-7 sums this chaper up nicely… Christ lived as a bond-servant, and we are to follow His example. Another kicker is II Corinthians 12:15, which tells us to do it gladly, rather than being sullen about it or expecting people to notice.
Walking with Christ is a challenging business. I want to run hard now, but God shows me day by day that if I try to sprint now, I’ll probably fall flat on my face and go nowhere. Best to walk first, and walk with Christ.