Thursday, March 17, 2016

What It Takes

What It Takes

Much can be said in regard to Christian discipleship. I recall some years ago preaching a series on this specific topic. As I focused exclusively on the words of Jesus throughout the Gospel accounts, I was very impressed with what the Lord had to say about what was required to be a true disciple. Obviously, there are many qualities associated with genuine Christianity.

We could certainly list the “fruit of the Spirit” as essential keys to our success as followers of Christ, along with a wide variety of character traits. I am in no way attempting to cover all of the necessary points here. Let’s begin with just a couple . . .

  • Strong’s: Steadfastly minded, established, fortified
  • Webster’s: The ability to do something you know is difficult or dangerous; mental or moral strength
It is no accident that the book of Joshua begins with Jehovah God reminding His servant of the need to remain “strong and of good courage.” Three times in as many verses the admonishment is given (Joshua 1:6,7,9). God first made clear the promise and then issued the instructions upon which the promise was contingent.

Courage involves demonstrating ability to overcome fear, doubt, and worry. It is not merely the absence of fear. It takes courage to “walk by faith, not by sight”; to stand against the wiles of our adversary and the trends of the world; to overcome sin and temptation. Obeying God may seem to be risky business to our human mind, logic, and reasoning. Often, the road less traveled is a lonely path to follow.

Peter lacked courage to be a witness until he received the Holy Spirit and became bold for Christ. It takes courage to completely “sell out” to God. However, the Lord calls us to be “all in.” Are we truly committed to do all things for His glory?
  • Strong’s: To be convinced, persuaded, believe, trust
  • Webster’s: Belief that you can do something well or succeed; conviction
In whom or what does our confidence stand?

The disciple of Christ must be confident—even in the face of rejection—in order to fulfill the vision and purpose of God. Humility is vital to confidence. True humility recognizes, “in myself nothing, in Christ everything.”

"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

We must have confidence that if God has called us, He will be with us throughout the journey. Do we have a sense of “calling,” or are we simply drifting along in life? A sense of calling brings both confidence in God and confidence that we are able to accomplish the purposes of God.

"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes" (Psalm 118:8-9).

To put ultimate confidence in others, even ourselves, will often result in disappointment and frustration. It is God’s power working through us that gives us confidence to overcome and experience success and victory in life.

"Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward" (Hebrews 10:35).

Courage and confidence will carry us through many of life’s challenges and bring us to ultimate prosperity and good success for the glory of God!

Grace & Peace,