Air pressure in car tires. Water pressure in a shower. The pressure of the opposing team on the sports field. The weighted pressure of workout equipment. Regulated blood pressure. These are all good and necessary forces when exerted. They keep us rolling safely along, provide an invigorating wakeup, challenge athleticism, build muscle tone, keep bodies healthy. Their absence is anything from a minor aggravation to a life-threatening situation: a flat tire, a slow drip excuse for a shower, a win by forfeiture, wet noodles for barbells, precarious health.
Discipline is a kind of healthful pressure for the soul, the character, the ego. “At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” Hebrews 12:11, The MESSAGE. By definition, a disciple is one who is discipled/disciplined. Children are ‘discipled’ by their parents. Students are ‘discipled’ by instruction and coursework. Employees are ‘discipled’ by their bosses and thoughts of pink slips. Artisans and craftspeople are ‘discipled’ by their specific area of arts/crafts and by the threat of starvation. Motorists are ‘discipled’ by speed limit signage and/or the flashing lights of the local constabulary. So, life provides us all with numerous occasions wherein we get to be discipled.
We, as Christian disciples, are those who’ve been invited to be discipled by Jesus. We are the most privileged people alive! What a wild and crazy invitation! It’s like a young teenager aspiring to be an Olympic champion getting a call from a gold medal-winning idol with an offer of one-on-one coaching (only way better!). Jesus describes the eminently desirable outcome of this proposed lifetime apprenticeship: “If you truly desire to be my disciple, you must disown your life completely, embrace my ‘cross’ as your own, and surrender to my ways. For if you choose self-sacrifice, giving up your lives for my glory, you will embark on a discovery of more and more of true life.’” Luke 9:23,24 TPT. More and more of true, in-Christ life. Now, that’s an offer too good to pass up! Looking forward to seeing all you fellow being-discipled disciples tomorrow at 10 AM. PD