The calendar is fresh and new. I’m not a resolution person, but I do love to take time at the start of a year to re-evaluate my discipleship. God gives us responsibility for how we live: I want to live to please Him; all of us who have seen Him desire that. We all have ways we can please Him more!
The first three Gospels record Jesus saying those who follow Him must deny self and carry our cross. A discipleship plan helps me see Him–and me more clearly. Be sure to understand, though: There is nothing we do to earn the love of God or make a way to heaven. But this life is our opportunity to show our reverence and thankfulness for all the Father, Son and Spirit do for us!
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:14
Christ in us is our hope of glory. Christ on us reveals Him to others and builds the Kingdom. Designing a discipleship plan is very personal. We must know our weaknesses and be willing to sacrifice our personal desires in exchange for the will of God. It is what Jesus did and what He calls us to do. He will guide and direct when we ask how we can know Him more.
Over a decade ago a speaker offered a plan that has blessed me, and I wanted to share it with you today. It is simple, yet profound.
Set aside some time to prayerfully consider your future. Jot down some notes of likely happenings in the next year…the next five years…the next ten years…and 20 years. As you look at that list, consider what you will need of the Lord to walk through such changes victoriously. Now, take the list and broadly categorize the needs into three-five areas.
At the time I took this challenge, it was clear our children would be going through school, our parents would be declining in health and probably passing on. The decade-plus has proved all that true–and much more besides. Specifics are unnecessary; broad generalities suffice to give a glimpse of our heart needs in the coming years.
I heard God calling me to deepen my understanding in five specific areas:
- What agape love looked like: His for me…for each of us.
- His trustworthiness.
- His promises of guidance.
- How to speak life-giving words.
- What fruitful living looked like.
Taking a five-subject notebook, I set out to gather Biblical instruction in those areas. That notebook is a treasure! And the fruit of it beyond my true understanding.
That is just an idea for you to consider. You are uniquely designed by God, and He alone knows the way He has designed for you to grow in grace and knowledge. Seek Him and He will show you.
Perhaps you would share below and inspire another to ask God if there path might look like that?
Jesus Christ is all we need. We already have all that is needed to walk in victory. Find the framework that fits you, and press in to know Him more.