We talked last blog about developing confidence in Christ as our first step in our intention to becoming His apprentice The next step is what clearly brings the greatest satisfaction in life: Obedience.
As we become more confident in Christ as our Master and Teacher within this paradigm we pursue a life of discipline as it requires. Now this is not a series of don’ts! It is a series of do’s that first require BEING with Jesus! It is the spiritual disciplines we talked about in the last blog. Taking time to engage Jesus through His Word, through prayer, through being still and listening. These will all lead to a pervasive inner transformation of our heart and soul.
The result of this obedient abiding is a heart, mind and soul full of the fruit of the Spirit. A life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control as outlined in Galatians 5:22.
Remember how Dallas Willard defined the Spiritual Disciplines: “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.”
Likewise these fruit of the Spirit are not able to be produced by direct effort but are brought about only through emulating Jesus as we learn how to obey Him through engagement in a variety of spiritual disciplines.
So lets look at an analogy from real life to get a better handle on this process. Using the Apprentice/Master model in terms of obedience for an Apprentice electrician and a Master electrician. If as an apprentice working with your master he advises you that when wiring a electric socket it would be wise to shut down the power to that area and you ignore his warning and attempt to wire the socket with the power on you will suffer adverse consequences depending on the voltage anything from a mild shock to death. Now take this example and apply it to the relation of you as an apprentice learning from your Master Jesus. As you abide with Him He will direct your path to be obedient to His direction for an abundant life full of His fruit as described above. If you stray from that path you will as a course of nature, not anything He directly delivers to you, experience calamity in some form. A life of mediocrity, disappointment, illness, shame, guilt, insecurity, needless exhaustion and in some cases even death.
Do you see that we have dealt with obedience through indirection as we talked about in our last blog. We did not couch obedience as obedience to God but obedience to a disciplined life which leads to obedience to God. Why? Because by directly trying to will ourselves to obey everything Jesus commanded is futile. But by being disciplined and obedient in abing with Jesus through study, prayer, silence, etc leads to to obey everything Jesus commanded.
Once you intend to be an apprentice of Christ by having confidence in Him at a level that leads you to live in abiding obedience it becomes deeply personal and tailored to His plan for your life day in and day out. Resulting in His desire for you to obedient to His specific direction for your life.
Can you grasp the abundance and freedom in living as His Apprentice?