It all begins with confidence as with anything else we put our faith in.
We board a flight because we have confidence the pilot will get us where we are desiring to go.
We give our primary relational world to one person in marriage because we have confidence he/she will be faithful for life.
We put our funds in a bank for safekeeping and management because we have confidence those funds will still be available as we need them.
So why should it be any different when it comes to the biggest decision in life: TO BECOME AN APPRENTICE OF CHRIST.
This process is quite different than the examples above. First of all the examples above all deal with the material world. Developing confidence in Christ is strictly spiritual, and here begins the rub.
How do you grow in confidence in dealing with at present a spiritual being?
First note the fact that one key to beginning this process lies in my comment that AT PRESENT Jesus is a spiritual being. He as we know walked this Earth fully God and fully man for 30 some years. So we are not being asked to be totally mystic about this process. Christ is, was and will always be. So AT PRESENT we must engage Him as a spirit, as in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. How do we do this?
The way we develop confidence in Christ to become His Apprentice is by literally hanging out with Him.
How do you hang out with God? Through His Word, through conversation, through listening. In other words by getting on the plane, by taking the marriage vows, by depositing money in the bank. You can never know if Christ is reliable for all of life if you don’t jump in His arms.
You develop confidence by indirection not by will. You develop confidence in Christ by engaging in behaviors that allow you to do something you could not otherwise do. In other words Spiritual Disciplines or Practices.
Dallas Willard explains the role of Spiritual Disciplines like this. “Activities we engage in that are within our power and enable us to do what we cannot do by direct effort, because in this way we meet the action of God (grace) with us, and the outcome is humanly inexplicable. This is what it means to speak of discipline as “a means to grace.” They are required in every area of life, including the spiritual.”
You see you cannot gain confidence in Christ by sitting down and willing it and just make it happen by saying I have complete confidence in Christ and never engaging Him, with no data or experience to foster that belief. That is like saying I have confidence in airlines and pilots and never flying, I have confidence in banks and never depositing 1 cent.
So why is this engagement of Christ almost non existent in the church today? Why are we not encouraged to sit routinely and listen for His still small voice prompting us, guiding us, directing us, why are we not directed to sit with small passages of the Word for several minutes each day to hear fresh from God how His Word impacts our life for today, why are we not encouraged to engage Jesus everyday in prayer?
Why do you think we are not taught to engage Christ for all of life today?