Will I let Jesus disciple me this year?


We are all already disciples of someone and something, shaped by interactions with others. The only real choice we have to make is who will we be discipled by? I remember the first time I read about this reality in the Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard, and then heard him talk about it a couple of years later in 1999.

As I enter another year, I am reflecting on whether I will choose Jesus for the totality - the whole of my Existence. Not a Jesus I pay lip service to, and say I believe in to provide me with some eternal life insurance. Not a Jesus I expect to provide 'stuff' for me, as if he served the other forces of discipleship in my life.

Not a Jesus who will give me the aspirations of my discipleship to others, but a Jesus who is my aspiration and the measure of all my life. Following Jesus is his own reward, not a means to get me something else.

After starting my walk with Jesus when I was 17 some 28 years ago, I find that I have so much of me that still needs to discipled by Jesus. So much of me seems to be shaped, still, by other forces of discipleship - fears, anxieties, and with midlife the pernicious forces of what I have achieved and have not.

I face a new year somewhat overwhelmed at the challenges that face me with work, family, and life. I feel the force of those challenges and the pull to address them with measures and actions that are not those of a follower of Jesus Christ - the forces of anxiety ready to fuel my workaholism.

So I enter this year, grateful that His spirit has reminded me that I am still too often shaped by forces other than his love, grace and power and the experience of His Kingdom. That same Spirit who began His work in me when I was 17, having now reminded me of that work, will bring that work to further completion.

So today I choose to let those forces that bring me to the end of myself, to instead bring me to him. I let those forces that too often bring me to the worst of myself  usher me instead, to Him, and the foot of his cross. Suddenly the worst of what I fear, is an opportunity to know him, to trust him, to submit to him, and see what He is doing in me.

Suddenly everything I face is an opportunity to have more of him this year.

To become a disciple of Jesus it helps to continue to learn from those who were better at that than me.  So I feel promoted to read again Dallas Willard's, Divine Conspiracy and watch one video a month, of the 12 videos by Willard teaching about Discipleship.