There is often a key piece that is missing in our attempts to cultivate disciples: obeying Jesus. Let me explain.
Jesus modeled obedience for His disciples. He followed when the Spirit led Him into the wilderness. Throughout His life He consistently did what the Father asked Him to do. In the Book of Acts, we see His disciples obeying Him and following the lead of the Holy Spirit. Here are a few examples:
- Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem to be empowered by the Holy Spirit--they did!
- Jesus told them to pray--they did!
- Jesus taught them to pray--they did!
- Jesus taught them to fear God, not man--they did!
- Jesus told them to preach the Gospel throughout the whole world--they did!
- Jesus taught them to operate in faith--they did!
- Philip was led by the Spirit to the chariot to speak to the Ethiopian eunuch--he followed!
- Peter was told by the Spirit to go to Cornelius' home--he did!
- Paul was asked by Jesus to carry His name to the Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel--he did!
- Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples--they did!
Obedience begins when we do what the Scriptures say and continues as we obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit in the midst of everyday life. Sometimes, obedience requires us to hurdle our own fears and step outside of our comfort zones. There are times that we'll miss it and we'll need humbly acknowledge it, while learning for next time. When we get it right and lives are impacted--wow, talk about growing and being encouraged! When we obey God, we experience Him--team up with Him--to fulfill His purposes!