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Training Week

“Salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything we have.”

Billy Graham

In my childhood I played tug of war during recess. I wanted to be on the team with the strongest classmates so our strength would pull the rope across the line onto our winning side. Last week a different tug of war game wrestled between my flesh and my spirit.

God woke me up earlier than I desired for several days. My flesh wanted to stay under the warmth of the covers while I pleaded my case with God as to why I needed more sleep. The first day I stayed in bed, ignoring God’s nudge. The next time it happened I delayed my obedience by twenty minutes and reluctantly climbed out of bed. The third day I immediately arose, but checked emails while the coffee brewed. I finally obeyed God completely on the fourth early wake-up call day and sat still listening to His voice. This is what I heard.

This week I’ve been teaching you submission to My early wake up calls. You’ve learned when I ask you to give something up like sleep, I will always provide more than what you lack. Even with less sleep I’ve given you energy throughout the day to keep going and to stay sharp and focused. I’ve supplied what you needed. Thank you My daughter for being My disciple, for following Me. It’s been like a tug of war process for you to readily give up sleep, but eventually it will become second nature. You’ll come to a point where you won’t even think about it because your heart will be trained to obey. 

A disciple is “one who is a learner and a follower, who adheres to the doctrines of another.” Jesus clarifies in Luke 14:27 what a disciple is. “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.” This past week, the relinquishing of the amount of sleep I thought I needed was my “cross.”

Discipleship is a life-long process whereby the learner becomes more and more like his master. Little by little the Holy Spirit whittles away at my will, causing me to choose His desires over mine. Kyle Idleman in Not a Fan quotes, “Following Jesus is a twenty-four-hour-a-day commitment that will interfere with your life.”

Yesterday after being awakened again by the Holy Spirit, I heard Him say, “Try Me and see.” As I rolled out of bed I responded, “You’re on.”

“The disciple is one who, intent upon becoming Christ-like and so dwelling in his ‘faith and practice,’ systematically and progressively rearranges his affairs to that end.”

Dallas Willard

Relevant Reflections:

1. What tug of war between your flesh and your spirit are you wrestling with today?

2. How are you following Jesus and choosing to be His disciple, one who is trained by Him?

3. In what area of your life do you need to take up Jesus’ dare and “Try Me and see?”

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