Perfection in not in my vocabulary. Persistence, prayer and God’s timing are. Being a disciple doesn’t mean my life became simpler. Many times, I feel like I deal with a lot more complicated things now than I ever did before. Following Christ means my future in heaven is guaranteed because He died for me.
We recently started this study series at church about the real meaning of repentance. What many of us think repentance means (including myself) is falling to our knees begging for forgiveness or using our own strength to make a complete change. Neither of those are correct. Repentance is about joy. It’s about a mind change (AKA Metanoia) that helps reveal what God has been trying to tell us all along.
The other piece to this is that repentance doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t go to bed hating the world and wake up the next day throwing up sunshine and rainbows. This is where discipleship comes into full effect. God doesn’t expect us to do everything correct. He knows we will mess up A LOT. That’s why His son went to the cross. He forgives our sins before we even know where going to make them. But He does expect us to give our best effort (AKA first fruits – Proverbs 3:9).
When I look at my own journey, I couldn’t even imagine that this is what my life would look like. The day I got baptized, everything seemed perfect. No one could bring me down and I was ready to take on the world. And when reality set in that this life I chose would have rough patches, I learned to take this journey one day at a time.
Sure. I work hard to do what God calls me to do. Do I mess up? All the time. I can’t rely on my own strength. And when I do, I fail. But God never gives up on me. Just like He did to the Israelites in Nehemiah, He lets me make mistakes, but always responds when I cry out for Him. This doesn’t give me an excuse to keep sinning (Romans 6); it gives me motivation to repent from that way of thinking that got me in the jam in the first place.
That’s what being a disciple is. It’s trying your best to love and obey God and let him mold you into the image of son. Jesus is the standard. He was the only human ever to walk this earth and never sin. I know I will never be perfect like him, but I will choose to follow his footsteps everyday. And God has blessed my life so abundantly that there are not enough words in the dictionary to describe how grateful I am. I literally owe EVERYTHING to God.
If you already know God, Amen. I pray that your disciple journey is filled with joy and blessings. If you don’t know God yet, Amen. I was in your shoes before. I pray that one day you will get to experience this splendid life and also make the decision to stop living for yourself and live for Christ. I made that choice almost four years ago and I’ve never looked back.