The Cost Of Discipleship

May 25, 2010

It has been a few days since my last post. I will say up front if I haven’t already that I will not make posts each day for the sake of only making something for others to read.  You have better things to do with your time and I respect that.   My prayer is that I will only post when the Lord truly impresses upon me to write or there is a sense of urgency about something.

This morning I felt God reminding me of my early years walking with Him. I was in my late teens and early twenties.  By my mid twenties, I had the privilege that so many don’t…that is to say I was mentored and taken under the wings of mature Christian men.

Herein is the cost of discipleship.  The two men that discipled me the most and the best are now on very different paths.  Anyone who has sought to draw close to the Lord or has sought to bring others close to the Lord knows there is a cost.  One of the most expensive costs is the casualties of war.  These two men became great casualties in this spiritual war in which we daily engage.

My first brother in the Lord was a Pastor of a small church.  His family was like the family I didn’t have growing up.  While I had loving and Christian parents, you could say they were not living the Christian faith in front of me.  I will forever be thankful for them taking me and my two older brothers to church each week for that set the standard for me as to why it was important to be at church. As the writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” 

I know most (including me) use this verse to mean meeting together as the Body of Christ and personally I believe the Body of Christ meets together to help build the Body.  I do this by being a member of a local church. I know many have come out of the institution of the church.  I do not hold that against anyone as long as they truly are following God’s direction and not simply their hurt emotions.

But back to my two mentors and I will try to keep this brief.  The first was a Pastor and 15 years older than me and is currently living his life in ease and comfort. No longer is he a member of any church.  He actually has disowned Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior which in turn has caused his oldest daughter (she was like the little sister I never had) to proclaim that he NEVER was truly a born again Christian.

The second was about nine years older than me and was in charge of being the Church Administrator. He led me in two very deep and personal Bible studies. One was called “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby and the other was a six month in depth even more personal study on discipleship called “Master Life” which was to help us know how to live the life surrendered to the Master and being not only His disciple but helping to disciple others in order to strengthen the Body of Christ.   A couple of years ago, while being the Minister to Married Couples at a mega church he was sadly arrested in a sex sting.  I will not give any other details. 

Needless to say, his life as he knew it was over. He is still in jail.  What was interesting was that for about a month before this happened, the Lord would bring him to mind every morning before I went to bed and I would wonder how he was doing and where he was and then say a prayer for him.  Two weeks prior to his arrest, I get an email from him out of the blue.  He was very encouraging of me and it was basically a “Remember when” type of email.  I was thrilled to hear from him.  I emailed him back letting him know I wanted to stay in touch.  Then the unthinkable happened.

What I am getting at is exactly what Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  I have learned over the years the meaning of denying self.  I have learned over the years the meaning of taking up your cross daily.  I have learned the meaning over the years of the cost to follow Jesus Christ.

As with my two mentors they have both paid a heavy although very different price for taking a great amount of time out of their lives to disciple not just me but others.  I viewed these two men as pillars of strength. I spent so many hours in prayer with these men I cannot count them all as I was prayer partners with both during my years of being discipled.

Those of us who seek to follow God’s will by being followers of Jesus Christ know the cost of discipleship.  If you haven’t yet experienced the marks of the mission of being a disciple, you soon will.  It is a given if you are truly seeking to honor God with your life.

As with my two mentors, we have in common an enemy who wants nothing more than to destroy us because we have decided that we are going to do the will of the Father in Heaven instead of the will of our flesh or the will of the father of lies.  There is nothing he won’t do to try and trip us up, make us fall, cause us to give up hope and throw in the towel all together as my first mentor has done.  He has completely given up on the Christian life.   I will not get into specifics here because of the personal nature of my relationship with the family but it is clear there was a disconnect that only he knows of. 

The truth about what happened with my mentors is that they are both casualties is this war that rages daily in each life on earth.  It is a war for the very soul of every human.  If Satan can’t keep a soul from Christ, he will seek to destroy any Hope in that soul.  As we all know, he has myriad ways of succeeding.

There is a reason Paul tells us of the spiritual armor in Ephesians 6.  There is a reason Christ said in Matthew 10:38, “and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”  Also, Luke 14:27, “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

There is a reason our Lord was so very specific about the cost of following Him.  That reason is because it is going to cost us dearly.  Are you under attack today?  Have you been suffering and crying out to God for relief?  Has God been silent even though in your eyes, you have been living the victorious Christian life?  Do you experience Satan’s battering ram against your soul each and every day of your life?  When you wake up in the morning do you hold back the tears because you know you are supposed to fight anyway even though you don’t have the desire?

WELCOME! You are living the life of someone who seeks to follow after God with all their heart.  All the crud you are experiencing, the personal insults you receive for being a Believer and the attacks that are thrown at you like they are coming from an automatic grenade launcher…wear them all as a BADGE OF HONOR.

You are a precious CHILD OF THE KING!  There is great cost in being His child.  But the reward for being His child is eternal life.  Don’t let the battles of this war get you down. Even if you are down, do what you know you must…pick yourself up again…and again…and again.  It will never end as long as you are in this tent that is God’s temple.  He blesses you daily because His Holy Spirit lives IN YOU. 

This is why this BLOG exists.  I pray this truly is a place of REFUGE. If it is not yet, please help me to make it one for those who come by looking for a rest stop, or a place to refuel for the long road ahead.  Remember, there truly is joy in the journey.  Are you willing to be joyful in spite of your circumstances?

Your walk with Christ is going to cost you dearly if it hasn’t already. We must decide how we are going to count the cost.  Remember, the cost of discipleship is YOUR LIFE. Only when we realize we must take up our crosses daily will we find the joy in the journey.

In Christ,

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3 Responses to “The Cost Of Discipleship”

  1. sandra said

    a place of refuge, a place to refuel, I like the sound of that. we all need to stop and listen to the quiet a little bit everyday.

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