This is the fourth post in a series where I'm reviewing each of the Design for Discipleship Bible study books.
Now, I just reviewed DFD 5 a few weeks ago, so this is a little out of order, but I completed The Spirit-Filled Follower Of Jesus way back in January, before it was suggested to me that I run my mind back over each book at its conclusion. It's probably a good idea for anyone working through the series to go back and review earlier material anyway, so whatever.
Book two begins with a three-page introduction entitled, “Helping You
Learn.” Within those three pages are an illustration known as the wheel,
shown below (click on the image to read the illustration).
Keeping in mind the illustration, the five chapters of the book are on obedience, God's Word, prayer, fellowship, and witnessing.
There's a good reason that these five topics are grouped together in the illustration and in the book. Obedience is what God desires from us; it is how we show Him love (John 14:21). We are meant to glorify God by obedience to His will - it's why the world was created (Colossians 1:16). How do we obey Him?
- His Word - If we don't know of Him, we don't know about Him, and we don't know Him (those are three different things), we won't be able to serve Him. While God does make His nature known throughout creation (Romans 1:20), the surest source of knowledge about Him is His Word. The book poses Ezra as an example of devotion to the Word in Ezra 7:10, and it's a good one. He studied the Word, then practiced it, then shared it.
- Prayer - This chapter is entitled, “Conversing With God.” Which is a really good title. Prayer isn't just us asking God (or telling Him!) to do things for us, to work this or that out or heal this or that or whatever. Prayer is a dialogue between us and God. It's not one-way God to us - Psalm 18:2-3 (among other scriptures) tells us to call on God. It's also not one-way us to God - I Kings 19:11-12 tells us that God sometimes speaks even as quietly as a gentle wind.
- Fellowship - Romans 12:10-13 defines fellowship pretty well. Everyone says iron sharpens iron, yadda yadda yadda (Proverbs 27:17), but two pieces of iron won't get much sharpening done unless there is intentional movement in the right directions. Fellowship doesn't just mean being together physically, it means actively (fervently, diligently) serving the Lord together. That said, it's fundamental to our lives in Christ. We are not meant to go it alone, but rather to build one another up and complement each other. The body is not just one part (1 Corinthians 12:14)!
- Witnessing - Remember Ezra's example above? Study, practice, share? This is that last part. Colossians 4:5-6 has (in my mind) one of the best definitions of witnessing, when it says to make the most of the opportunity. Too many times my speech is not salted, my conduct is foolish, or I just flat don't grab an opportunity to talk about God's love. Peter's example in Acts 4:20 is much better.
Now, go and obey Christ.