What is discipleship? Discipleship is making decisions every day to intentionally follow Jesus. Another way to say it is discipleship is following Jesus on purpose. Now, to do this we must take Jesus and his words seriously. Dallas Willard writes of Jesus and his words, “They are essentially subversive of established arrangements and ways of thinking. … He himself described his words as ‘spirit and life’ (John 6:63). They invade our ‘real’ world with a reality even more real than it is.”
To understand discipleship, we must examine the life of Jesus and his words to see what it takes to follow Jesus on purpose. We have to dig together to discover how those ancient words are full of life for us today. How instructions for living that were given over 2000 years ago–halfway around the world–are still just as relevant as if they were spoken directly to us today. As a matter of fact, they are spoken to us right here–right now–if we will only listen. When we go to the Lord in prayer and prayerfully read his Word-we are listening. We are listening for the Word made flesh to speak into our lives through his living word that we might each be better equipped to follow Jesus on purpose as disciples.
As we listen, we discover that when we miss out on learning to follow Jesus as a disciple we are actually missing out on the promises of peace, joy, life, and power that he offers to us. As Dallas Willard writes in his book The Divine Conspiracy, “Nondiscipleship costs abiding peace, a life penetrated throughout by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overriding governance for good, hopefulness that stands firm in the most discouraging of circumstances, power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil. In short, nondisicpleship costs you exactly that abundance of life Jesus said he came to bring (John 10:10).”