Monday, February 4, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship #2

During my prayer time yesterday, I asked God to enlarge my territory and as He has been doing lately, He answered my prayer before it left my lips. The phone rang and my immediate response was, "God, You answered that prayer a little too quickly for me!" I didn't recognize the phone number and was afraid to answer the call because I might be asked to do something I didn't want to do. Then I remembered Paul's words about doing what he didn't want to do versus doing what he ought to do. So much for an enlarged territory!

I felt releaved once the phone stopped ringing and no message was left by the caller. Then I beat myself up for walking away from God. Jesus called me to be a witness to Him and I panicked. How could I be a disciple, broken bread and poured out wine while running in the opposite direction? Just call me Jonah!

Sweet Jesus, are You laughing at me or crying? When I accepted You as my Lord and Savior, I didn't realize until now how much my life is not about me and discipleship on my terms. Being Your witness is about doing, living and being what You need, not always about what makes me feel good. Discipleship is no longer hiding in my comfort zone, but being used by You to give someone hope or meet someone's need. It means going places and being with people that I am not comfortable with. It requires me to roll up my sleeves, skin my knees, ruin my manicure and work up a sweat. It's doing things or going places that are inconvenient to me and will require me to learn things I am not interested in learning.

In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers says we are to have no aim, no purpose and no plans once we are called to be witnesses. I have said this so many times over the past few days and it must be something that God needs to keep bringing to my rememberance - I am not my own. I AM WHO I AM sends me. Those words are much easier to write than to live.

As chosen ones of God, we must be willing to take up our cross at all costs, trusting in Him to guide us through each encounter. It isn't us who love, encourage and care for His children, but Him moving through us to accomplish His will. We were bought at a price and have no choice but to lay down our lives for Jesus. Whether He sends us to dark desolate places or beautiful places of abundance, we must be obedient to His commands.

Sweet Jesus, the thought of stepping out of my comfort zone scares me. I have been here for so long. But, I love You so much and know You have a call on my life to encourage, edify and love Your children. It is obvious that I cannot do this by myself, so move me to do for Your good pleasure and glory. Remove the fear and replace it with faith and courage. In Your sweet holy Name. Amen.

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