What is it about systems and formula's that makes us so eager to download the latest and greatest. We hear that if we follow this instruction or gather this latest revelation into our bosom then we will be assured of the biggest BREAKTHROUGH ever! The sad thing about all this super marketing is that it normally comes immediately after certain NEEDS have been exposed in our lives by this teaching and thus we need to get this DVD package or this book to FIX that need....
I want to show you once more two simple verses from the Apostle Paul's pen to the young pastor Timothy:
2 Tim 2:1-2 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
God promises and exhorts a couple of clear things for us in these two verses. Firstly - there is a GRACE from God himself that is waiting for you to be STRONG in. This sounds like a paradox - "be STRONG in the grace that is in Christ Jesus!!???" How can we be strong when we know we are so weak? When we are connected organically to Christ as a branch is to a vine - there is life that flows into us. This life is what we are exhorted to be STRONG in. His life, his sap, his love.
Secondly, no secret formula or deep revelation - just what Jesus has taught, the early apostles taught, are to be passed onto FAITHFUL men and women who can also then pass it on to others. Stick to the basics, do them well and pass them onto others - no fanfare, no marketing, no cost. The power of the gospel is in its SIMPLICITY, its REPRODUCIBILITY by faithful men and women who simply believe, practice what they have learnt and pass it onto others!
FORMULAS and SYSTEMS. Discipleship based in systems and formulas is reminiscent of Baal's prophets in 1 Kings 18:26-29, when they attempted with ceremonial dancing, shouting and skin slashing to call down fire on the altar and offering. Not a spark came forth! The efforts of these prophets proved that they possessed only a formula and not the LIVING GOD! Elijah on the other hand, put his God ahead of the method and Scripture tells us the results (1 Kings 18:38-39): Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when they all saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, "The Lord He is God; the Lord He is God". Simple biblical discipleship emphasizes the work of God, not the works of man. True humility is a recognition of what we do not have and what God alone possesses. Pride on the other hand, is trusting in what we believe we have.
Happy disciple making!