I recently started reading a book by A. W. Tozer called, The Pursuit of God. I had never heard of the book until recently when it was mentioned on another blog. Chapter one is titled Following Hard After God, and has really given me some food for thought.
Many of us claim a relationship with Christ, but if we examine that relationship closely, I wonder if it would be better categorized as a passive belief and acceptance then a genuine passionate relationship. Or as Tozer put it, a hunger. There is a big difference.
I guess I might compare it to being a believer versus being a disciple. A believer is just what it sounds like, someone who believes in Jesus Christ. Of course all of us who believe in Christ as our Savior are categorized as believers. But, is just believing good enough?
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
So even the demons believe that Jesus is God, so how does that square with just being a believer?
Let me ask you a more important question! (Are You A Disciple Of Jesus?)
Well, I guess we should determine what a disciple is to determine if we are one or not?
Harper’s Bible Dictionary describes a disciple as an apprentice or pupil attached to a teacher or movement; one whose allegiance is to the instruction and commitments of the teacher or movement.
Does that describe our relationship with Christ?
Because we are believers, because we profess the name of Jesus, because we go to church and tithe, does that automatically make us disciples?
Let’s look at an example of a believer vs a disciple and see.
38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus[b] answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Martha was a believer, where Mary was not only a believer, but a disciple as well.
A disciple is not only a learner, he or she an imitator of his teacher.
What did Jesus say was the goal of a disciple? Let’s look at:
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.
Are you, am I like our Teacher? Do we emulate Him, do we speak His words, do we act as He did?
Part of being a disciple is being like what Paul talked about in Romans 8:29: For whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, …
We must be conforming to the image of Christ.
Tozer says, in chapter one, “Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, the prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they found Him the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking.
Wow. Do we seek Him day and night, in season and out of season? Do we have that hunger?
To be a disciple, we must have that hunger, and be emulating and conforming to that image.
What are some of the things that might identify us as disciples? Let’s take a look at some scriptures on that.
John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
What kind of people are these?
Could these be people who go through all the motions of being a Christian, but lack the heart, passion and hunger of a disciple? I don’t know for sure, but it should give us all something to think about.
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Here is shows we must be doers and not just hearers. We must walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.
To be a disciple we must be an active participant, a doer of the word.
So, which are you, a passive believer, or an active participant?
Are you hungry for Christ?