If you have read any of my posts on discipleship, such as When a Young Brother Presses or Do You Hear What I Hear?, you will realize that the correlation between a disciple and the one who is discipling has its up and downs just like any other meaningful relationship.
Often, you can spend quite a bit of time instructing and communicating spiritual truths to a young brother without seemingly any positive feedback. Oh, you see them sitting there shaking their heads agreeing with what you are saying. They may even ask relevant questions and provide positive verbal feedback.
Yet, after you have done this for a little while, you come to realize that discipleship requires releasing a young brother to now go and begin to walk out and have incarnated in their lives that which they have heard and been shaking their head “yes” to. They may have “gotten it” in their head but now the time comes for the truth to “get into” them and form Christ in them. Such an important work takes time and requires patience from both parties involved in discipleship. It is the Holy Spirit’s work to bring the illumination and demonstration.
To the natural eye, due to circumstances and situations, it can appear that the young brother is in a mess and is just spinning his wheels. They will even express that to you and show you the emotion that would seemingly qualify that diagnosis. However, they must be encouraged to stand under the knowledge of the truth they have received regardless of their seemingly counter productive circumstantial condition and learn to operate in wisdom – or – bring the proper application of the knowledge they have received.
Below is an excerpt from an email sent to me from one of my spiritual sons that is, has been and will continue to be in the process of maturing and growing in Christ. (I asked his permission to share this with you)
Just realized that the proclivity to sin remains in ALL of
us…(even YOU, lol)! Our flesh can never not be fleshly and as long as we are in our earthly bodies, the flesh and its tendencies, it’s nature, remain. But it is believing in the FINISHED work of the cross AND remaining watchful (co-laboring with the finished work) and soliciting the aid of the Holy Spirit do we find victory.
Honestly, I thought that one could reach a point where the temptation of sins enjoyed in the past ceased to exist. I thought you and the other people I respect in Christ had “arrived”…and that was my goal. I see a little clearer now why you’ve been stressing the power of the Holy Spirit. Before, I thought it was there merely to “show me things”…the proverbial “way”, in a grandiose, global sense. It feels freeing to know that he is here to help me with my daily life. Thanks Bryon! Thanks Holy Spirit! Thanks to Jesus in his obedience as a Son. Thanks to the Father for working all things out for my good and His Glory!
Now, remember what I said about having to be patient?
From the first day I received this young brother into my life, I promise you (and he would tell you) that I taught him and showed him the scriptural basis for God’s intention in creating man to govern in the earth and that true men first govern themselves by the choices/decisions they make to deny the flesh and partake of Father’s Divine Nature.
But please notice, he said he “JUST REALIZED” what I have been teaching and hopefully demonstrating personally and in community over the past 2 + years!
By definition, REALIZED means to become fully aware of (something) as a fact; understand clearly.
If you could see my face as I am typing this……….you would see me smiling! For me, this is where the rubber meets the road!
In his email, he realized that the “proclivity” to sin remains. Proclivity means a tendency to choose or do something regularly; an inclination or predisposition toward a particular thing. While it is good for this young believer to realize that the proclivity remains in him to choose to sin, we must now focus on getting him to realize his ability and responsibility to choose rather to partake of the Divine Nature through the work of the Holy Spirit in his life.
As he said, his faith rests in the finished work of the cross and he is aware that the Holy Spirit is able to come along side him to assist, empower and lead him as a mature son so that he may begin to choose to enter the things of the Spirit. What we have here is far more than just mere head knowledge of the death and resurrection principle of Father’s economy, I have observed (and continue to do so) the principle working in his life.
Since Father connected us a couple of years ago, this particular young brother has been through it! We’ve seen Father do some incredible things in his life and for him in order to demonstrate His Love. Let’s just say that the young brother hasn’t made things easy on himself but he has shown good progress in walking in the Kingdom. Because of his past and upbringing his biggest issue has been learning to receive Love and Blessing into his life; not based upon his performance but rather based upon his value according to Father’s evaluation. Fortunately, he has been blessed to have an amazing Kingdom Family and Community receive him, love him and walk with him. And, now, after all of this time he has come to be fully aware and understand clearly for himself what I have been trying to “teach” him for quite some time now.
Every brother’s journey is different and each individual disciple learns differently and at their own peculiar pace. Again, patience is required when discipling someone if you truly want them to come to a valid understanding and expression of truth.
So, the next step for this young brother moving forward is to come to realize the incarnation of Paul’s words found in Galatians 5:
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires Since we live by the Spirit let us keep in step with the Spirit.
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want to do.
While I would rather see “quick” fixes and miraculous deliverance come to these young brothers, I know Father is more interested in their development rather than their deliverance. Father is at work in them for His pleasure; to bring many sons to glory. He knows the pace at which to move them along. The older I get and the more I come to know Father, the more I realize His Proclivity to be patient with me. He tells us in scripture that Love is……………patient! The very least I can do, having experienced Father’s own Patience towards me, is be patient with a young brother asking me to help him find his way!
In dealing with young brothers, other believers and all people, if we are going to express Father’s Love it will be greatly done through patience. The value of patience is that when the work is done, it will be done according to Father’s intention, through Father’s means and will accomplish what pleases Father!
He only requires me or anyone who is discipling another believer, to love and support them through patience and encouragement. So, we will be working on advancing from this point. Actually, we already are.
As I am with all of my young brothers, I am proud of this particular young man. Things haven’t been easy and, at this very moment in his life, things still seem to be stacked against him in various ways. However, he is coming to learn, truly learn, that the Christ in him is greater than anything he may face!
Keep your peace!