On following…

Followme42 Being a follower of Jesus implies that we step in his steps, listen to his voice, respond to his call.  We are to be like Jesus, patterning ourselves after him, learning to do what he does, speaking into life the way he speaks, healing and reconciling and reconnecting people to God.  But how do we learn to do that?  How can we be transformed from our state as sick, broken creatures to become the light of the world? 

Thinking about Jesus’ call to Peter (to "follow me"), Dallas Willard writes in his book, Divine Conspiracy:

"If I am to be someone’s apprentice, there is one absolutely essential condition.  I must be with that person… It is precisely what it means to follow Jesus when he was here in human form.  To follow him meant, in the first place, to be with him.  If I am Jesus’ disciple, that means I am with him to learn from him how to be like him." (p.276)

I’m interested in your thoughts about how we do this… How do we spend time with Jesus today?

Photo by Jérome Gerull


  1. Don’t like the disciplines eh Steve? I don’t know that Monasticism is for us either. I’m certainly not switching my board shorts for a monks robe anytime soon. However, perhaps there is something to consider in the disciplines, not in taking on burdens to wear ourselves down, but by structuring the activities of our lives to reflect the priorities of Christ.
    We can talk about inviting Jesus into fellowship, or becoming monks, or whatever, but aren’t we really just talking about orienting our lives in a manner that enables us to live as Jesus did. After all, that’s what the disciplines are really all about. Whether we fast, meditate, worship or pray aren’t we just changing the structure of our lives so that we become closer to our Heavenly Father, Jesus’ Heavenly Father, which will cause us to be more like Christ?
    And why isn’t touching people outside the church a discipline? How can we draw closer to the father (which is the reason we practice the disciplines) without showing love to those He loves? Yet may we, by practicing the disciplines, develop hearts and minds more like Christ’s so that we think and act like Him.

  2. How about a simple answer our children learned in Sunday School -Rev 3:20? – “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
    Is it not as simple as recognizing that the infinite, all knowing, all wise God of the universe is waiting for us to invite Him to come with us where ever we go; is waiting for us to ask him to help us love the real people we rub shoulders with, is waiting for us to ask him to help us in the job where we earn our living and as we raise our families?
    The wonder of it all is that God, our Creator, loves us enough to want to be involved in every little detail of the daily routine of our lives. This is not meant to be scary, as He does not come as a dictator, or micro-manager to control and manipulate us, but as a loving Father wanting the very best for us. For only as we surrender the day to day things to Him do we discover the freedom to become the person He meant us to be.
    Paul assures us that God has called us into fellowship with Christ (1 Cor 1:9). The question is whether or not we will enter into this fellowship.
    Now to ask a another question – how does Paul understand our experience of God’s grace in our daily life (1 Cor 1:3)?

  3. I think you’re saying two great things here, Steve. Let me know if I’ve got it right… #1: Making the everyday things matter spiritually… and #2: Being with real people (non-religious types) in a way that Jesus would be. Did I understand that right? I think I’m getting you… but how does this help us spend time with Jesus?

  4. We could practice the disciplines…although I am not sure that monastic practice is what Jesus had in mind when he invited the rabble to follow him, I mean, Fishermen, Tax men and terrorists…
    Don’t get me wrong, spiritual discipline works but something about ordering my life around spiritual discipline has the potential to make the normal things I do, like being a husband, a friend, a rugby player, a brother, a boss, seem..well, unspiritual. For me…and I am not saying for you… it is more about figuring out how Jesus walks, talks, serves and loves and trying to bring what I learn in the quiet place into my ordinary life. This involves spiritual discipline, but is lived in freedom from discipline. I think the place I enjoy doing this most is in the rugby team. I play, train and socialise with a large group of non christian guys two or three times every week. They are not like Christians, they don’t talk about church practice, slag other christians or debate theology. They worry about paying their bills, they talk about bringing up their kids, they struggle with politics, with porn, with drugs and drink. Jesus has me with these guys, not to show them religion but to show them, the radical grace and mercy that he offers. Bottom line, to be like Jesus I think you need to surround yourself with stinking rotten sinners and love the life clean out of them. (that’s real irish!)

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