(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)
I’m not really sure how to start this post, because I have so many thoughts I want to share with y’all. The Lord has been teaching me so much over the past six months. However, the main thing that I keep coming back to is the area of discipleship.
If you have been a part of The Few, or have read any of our posts, or watched any of our Tuesday Lives, I’m sure you have heard about Rocky. Just in case you haven’t, be sure to read the blog post I wrote a couple of months ago titled, “A Thousand Times Over” to get the whole run-down. https://thefew.blog/2019/10/07/a-thousand-times-over/
Since our last visit to see Rocky in Fort Worth in September, my family and I have been sending letters to him and praying for him. My dad would talk on the phone with him about every other day to encourage him, share Scripture, and make plans for his future. However, our direct intervention was limited since we are in Ohio and he is in Texas.
So, we had been trusting God to work, and for His will to be done. Then we found out a couple weeks ago that Rocky was going to be released from jail on January 15. Immediately, we felt like the Lord wanted us to go down to Texas to help him in whatever way we could.
Honestly, we didn’t know what we would be able to do, or if we would really be much help to him, but we knew God told us to go. It all worked out, and my dad and I went down to Texas this past week to help him start afresh.
In the next few posts I’ll probably share some more stories about our time there, but this is one of the main things that God showed me while we were there helping him.
- I realized that I had let some frustration and bitterness build up towards people who hadn’t visited Rocky or offered to help in any way. I had a really hard time accepting that the “Church” wasn’t showing up in this situation.
As I was praying and surrendering those feelings, Jesus spoke right into my heart about all of those thoughts. This is what He left me with… Why do we expect people to show up and get messy doing real ministry with someone, when most of them have never been discipled or shown how to do it for themselves?
Why do we expect them to jump right in and do something that they have never been a part of?
You see, I think we have believed a lie. We think if someone has been in church on a regular basis, and they say they love Jesus, then they are good to go.
Can I speak truth for a minute here? They are not “good to go”. They are not equipped to go, and the reality is that most of them won’t go if someone doesn’t show them how to go.
The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) doesn’t say to go and get people to make a decision to believe in Jesus and then go to church. It says to go make disciples. Not just converts who won’t actually follow Jesus.
Listen, a lot of us have good intentions to share the Gospel and walk beside people when they are struggling, but it seems like we never put those good intentions into action. Why? Because many of us have never seen it done or experienced the process of discipleship before.
David Platt once said, “We have taken the command of Christ to go, baptize, and teach all nations, and mutated it into a comfortable call to come, be baptized, and sit in one location.”
It’s kind of crazy to me that we sit back, and in a way, simply expect the Rocky’s of the world to mess up and fail again and again. We all want to have an opinion about how to fix them, but we don’t really want to provide any sort of action to help them and their situation.
What Rocky needed was someone to help him, to speak truth and love into him, to drive him to his job interview, and to get groceries. That’s what he truly needed. He needed someone to be intentional with him, not judgmental and doubt if he was going to be legit and get his life on the right track.
He needed someone to show him the love of Christ, not just tell him about it.
Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
You see, discipleship shouldn’t stop once you have met once a week to read Scripture and pray together. Sure, that’s a great thing to do, but intentional discipleship is when you include people in your already made up schedule for the week.
Genuine, soul changing, discipleship happens when you live life together. Even when it’s not convenient. Even when there has to be sacrifice on your part. It happens when you take the 2:00 am phone call because he is struggling. It happens when you give up a sports event to show up for someone who is in the hospital.
Include them in your day to day life. Be willing to completely change your schedule, not just add another meeting to it.
I don’t expect that Rocky will live out a perfect Christian life from now on. We all mess up and fall. But, one thing I do know, is that he won’t have to live it out alone. I will be there a thousand and one times over.
SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?
= In what ways did you relate with this post?
= Any takeaways that you want to share with others?
=What are you going to do differently?