Remember what it was like being a new believer? You were super excited about seeing what the Lord would do and blissfully ignorant about how He would do it. You would read your Bible (because that’s what all good Christians do), not truly understanding all that you were reading. You’d pray (like all good Christians), but let’s be honest, it felt weird and clumsy. It probably didn’t take long for the excitement to end and the frustration to begin. If you are anything like me, it didn’t take long for you to come to the conclusion that you had no idea what you were doing and you needed help. If you were in a healthy church environment, you soon realized that there was a community of believers who would walk with you. Hopefully, you soon entered some type of discipleship relationship. But what were you looking for as the person being discipled? What did you hope to gain out of that relationship. What desires was God welling up in you? Here are 3 desires that should be on all of our hearts as we seek to be discipled:
DESIRE TO LEARN
We aren’t fully mature believers at conversion. We have to learn what it means to submit, follow, and obey. We have to learn it from someone who has learned it. At first, we don’t even know what we don’t know.
The desire to learn requires that we are teachable. A desire to learn doesn’t always translate into being teachable. Sometimes our desire to learn is born out of a prideful desire to be right. To avoid this, those wishing to be discipled must be humble and able to take grace-filled correction, which, over time, leads them to being trained in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).
DESIRE TO CHANGE
This second desire of those who want to grow in their faith is born out of the first one. We have a desire to learn because we have a desire to change. Believers know that sin is waging war against God in their heart, but new believers don’t know what to do in order to change that. They know they want to change but don’t know how. This must be learned, and it’s most often effective when it’s done with others. The desire to change is brought about by the Holy Spirit as we battle sin. It’s through His power that we have victory.
Believers often get frustrated with change. We all think it’s happening too slow if at all. We all need to realize that this is a process. No true change happens overnight; it takes time. We need to keep in mind that even slow change is change; and besides, if it happened any quicker, we would probably freak out for a new set of reasons.
DESIRE TO GROW
As we work towards learning and changing, the result that is produced will be growth, which will lead to this final desire, a desire for increased growth. As we see and experience discipleship having its effect, we desire more of it. This most often presents itself in the areas of increased involvement within the community of faith. Looking for opportunities to serve within the body and invest in others will take this desire to grow even further because we are following the example of our Savior and looking to serve rather than be served (Mark 10:45).
Are these desires true of you? Do you have a desire to learn? Do you have a desire to change? Do you have a desire to grow? If any of these desires are lacking, what will you do about it? Wait for circumstances to change? Try on your own to change them? Have you considered talking to God about them? What about talking to other believers? The fact of the matter is these desires don’t develop without being intentional about them with God and others. It’s almost funny how God designed the discipleship process to be circular in nature. The more time we spend with God and others, the more we see ourselves growing, the more we desire to be used by God in the lives of others, and the process starts all over again.