This was advice given to me by one of my professors when I expressed my distress to him over not being able to find a job immediately after graduating form my Master’s program. Needless to say, that was not exactly what I wanted to hear. I would rather have heard, “Oh, I know someone who is hiring and you would be perfect for that job. I will call them right away and you will probably have the job tomorrow.”
Yeah, that would have been nice. Nice and easy.
Trusting the process doesn’t sound quite as promising or quite as easy. But, having no other choice, I began trusting the process. And it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was rather hard.
However, through a series of steps, God led me to the perfect job that He had in mind just for me.
Trusting the process, that seemingly scary walk down a path of unknowns, is exactly what is required for emotional healing.
And of course, the first step to trusting the process is entering into the process. This is a step that most of us do rather reluctantly. We already know it won’t be easy, it may be long and we will get tired and discouraged along the way.
God, in His infinite love for us, has designed a healing process for emotional problems a process that has many components. Since we all need healing in different areas, in different degrees and in different ways, God Himself directs our healing process. And true to God’s character, He tailor makes a healing process just for us.
We all appreciate the maturity demonstrated by the honest business person, the hard working employee, the patient caregiver, the kind shopkeeper, the caring parent, the respectful teenager, the loving spouse, the wise political leader.
But, in actuality, we take more notice of immaturity: at ball games, in traffic, in government… and we all sense that maturity is quickly disappearing.
Our Society seems to be approaching a point-of-no-return, imploding on it’s selfishness. This is tragic, and keeps us on our knees, seeking God and wondering about the future.
The Lord Jesus had a process for equipping the first leaders of the Church to be mature, and His plan remains transferable. His commission to make and equip disciples from all nations applies until His Return.
Rick Warren believes that obedience rather than age is the key to spiritual maturity. Obedience implies that there is more to truth than just “knowing”, it suggest that there is a strong component that requires “doing”.
Worldwide Discipleship Association has spent the last thirty-eight years focusing on one thing: Developing Christ-like character in people and equipping them to disciple others. Take a look at our new brochure, Maturity Matters to learn more about our ministries, processes, and resources that help present people complete in Christ!
As parents, employers, caregivers and leaders we can guide those in our care to maturity! There is a plan, a process and a model, and the results are proven! Together we can make a difference in our homes, businesses, churches, in our communities and in our nation. Because as we all have come to know, Maturity really does matter!
It’s difficult to do an honest reading of the gospels and not come to the conclusion that discipleship is one of Jesus’ primary concerns and focuses. However the difficulty comes when we ask the question, “Who actually makes disciples, us or God?”
One could easily point to the great commission in Matt. 28:19 and proclaim that its obviously Jesus’ intention that his followers “go into all the world and make disciples”. But in the same way, you could also point to the previous verse and note that the power and authority to accomplish this task belongs solely to Jesus Christ.
We’re prone to forget sometimes, but a defining characteristic of discipleship is that it involves reproduction and multiplication. However, we’re also prone to forget sometimes that we’re not called to reproduce ourselves, but to reproduce the life of Jesus in others.
But this doesn’t mean that we have no part in the making of the disciples, the answer is that making disciples is a mysterious process that involves things that we do, and can measure, and things that God does, which we can’t begin to understand. It’s a beautiful mystery.
Jesus gives us a picture of this in Mark 4 as he tells the parable of the seed growing:
And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
In that passage it seems like Jesus references a natural organic growth process that is progressive: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain, then the harvest when the grain is ripe. But in the exact same parable he says, “the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how”.
I love that. And what’s more, the man goes out and plants the seed, he’s doing actual work. It wouldn’t be outlandish to assume that if this man was a farmer then he would use techniques that he had learned that would help the seed grow, such as watering the seed, making sure it had sunlight, planting it in season, etc. But I love how Jesus notes that he works for a while and then goes to sleep and doesn’t do anything, but all the while God is working. That gives me great comfort because apparently God will cause his children to grow even if we are asleep on the job:)
We plant the seed of the gospel, and we can expect to see growth and have an eye on the process and what to expect, but ultimately it’s the power of God’s spirit working inside the seed that causes the growth in a way that is utterly mysterious. This is a tension that we’d all do well to remain in. We work, but we count on God to work in people’s lives in a way that we can’t begin to predict or understand.
But don’t lose sight of the truth that ultimately it is the rain and sunshine of God’s graciousness and power that bring growth and change in people’s lives. This thought should both reassure and humble us at the same time.
So in closing… Remember:
Discipleship is about reproducing Jesus, not us.
Discipleship is mysterious tension between our work and God’s work.
But without God’s power, our work is useless and we can’t expect growth to happen.