One of my mentors, Jim Rohn, was known for saying, “For things to change, you have to change.” So many want a closer relationship with Christ, to move beyond Christianity into discipleship, but waste their lives waiting for the transformation to occur. We have a role to play in becoming a disciple. Put simply, discipleship is a choice, and it is up to each of us to decide if it’s worth it.
If we believe in Jesus but aren’t pursuing a life of discipleship, we are valuing the things of this earth more than we value Him. I am troubled by anyone who professes Jesus with their lips but denies Him with their attitudes and actions. Jesus didn’t call us to a life of belief in Him; He called us to a radical abandonment of all things that are not Him.
The more I study, the more I become convinced lip-service Christianity isn’t going to cut it when we die. I don’t think saying a prayer to give your life to Jesus and continuing to live for yourself and the pleasures of this world is going to be enough when we face Jesus. I understand this is controversial and admit I have no special insight into whether any particular person is or isn’t saved. What I do know is Jesus warned many would come to Him calling Him “Lord”, and He will send them away saying He doesn’t know them (Matthew 7:22-23). Notice Jesus said “many” will be in this predicament, not “a few”.
It is both heartbreaking and nauseating to realize the “sinner’s prayer” methodology of leading people to Christ may be the number one contributor to people being turned away when they face Christ. There is nothing wrong with the prayer itself. A person who is absolutely committed to following Christ will indeed begin living a life of discipleship. It’s the follow-through after the prayer I believe makes all the difference. It’s the attitudes, actions, and desires in which we engage from this point forward that will determine our destiny. Is Jesus our greatest desire? Do we want nothing but Him? Does it make us disgustingly ill to sin? These are the marks of a disciple.
If you haven’t been living life as a disciple, what would need to change? What would your life look like if you were living it as a disciple of Jesus? Would you pray more, study the Bible more, give more? Would you be more compassionate, patient, loving, generous, and humble? What changes do you need to put in place to begin living as a true disciple?
Discipleship is a choice, and to become a disciple of Jesus, you must change. If you read this and change nothing, you are wasting your time and wasting your life. Stop whatever you are doing and write down exactly what you think life would look like if you were living as a true disciple of Christ. Then pick one of those things and begin doing it, living it, or giving it. Once you are consistent in one area, choose another. Above all, pray constantly. Ask God to mold you in His image. Ask Him to show you the race He uniquely designed you to run. Beg Him for more of Himself and to transform your life. Discipleship is a choice. And now that choice is yours.