By definition, a volunteer is someone who chooses to enter an activity of his own free will while under no compulsion to do so. In a society that tends to believe that “no one does anything without expecting to get something in return”, volunteers often times will find that they function under a cloud of suspicion regarding their true motivation.
Although some organizations would cease to exist if it were not for the support its volunteers, their reception is not always appreciative to say the least. Some are perceived to be second-class members of the organization who are looked upon as a “want-to-be” who never quite made the grade. This is especially true when they serve along side of professionals in the same field where the presence of “outsiders” are viewed as a necessary evil at best!
In the spiritual realm, God invites every born again believer to the life of discipleship, but He forces it upon no one. Those who aspire to become disciples must do so of their own free will. They are no more or no less “saved” for having done so, but there are certain “benefits” for those who respond to the call with the right motivation and finish the course in spite of the inevitable adversity that awaits them.
Contrary to the way that secular recruiters operate, our Recruiter and the ones that properly represent Him, makes no attempt to conceal the inevitable hardships that await those who choose to enter into the life of true discipleship. If what we receive for becoming disciples is limited to what is received in this lifetime alone, then “…we are of all men to be pitied (1Cor.15: 19 NASB).”
We do not volunteer in order to receive more, but to serve. While a spiritual victory in the life of a disciple will bring about blessings from God, it also means that future and greater adversity is on its way.
Discipleship will require personal sacrifice as we live outside of our comfort zone in order to glorify God to the utmost. To the degree that the exercise of our individual spiritual gift poses a threat to the devil’s agenda, is the same degree that we can expect satanic attacks. If we and/or our ministries are never attacked, it is safe to assume that Satan doesn’t see us as a worthwhile target, or worse, he is content to have us continue on just as we are!
The only way one ever leaves the Corps of Disciples is via self-termination. No matter how badly we fail, we will always have the option of dusting ourselves off and re-entering the battlefield. Being brought to the end of one’s rope of self-importance and self-reliance is an essential part in the basic training of a disciple. For most of us, this will be a very painful and humiliating process.
If you choose to volunteer for discipleship and choose to remain when the inevitable and ever-increasing adversity comes, you will be in the minority of the Christian community (Luke 14:26). The (Luke 8: 14) majority are generally moral, nice, and even religious individuals, but they are not disciples.
A disciple (mathetes in the Greek) is one who is a student in a teacher student relationship that learns and applies the “mind of Christ (1Cor. 2: 16 NASB)” to the daily events of his life under the filling (control) of God the Holy Spirit. You cannot apply what you do not know.
Most post salvation believers gravitate towards antinomianism or legalistic religion. The antinomians are satisfied to know that salvation cannot be lost and therefore live as if there were no further accountability (Rom. 14: 12). On the other hand, religious legalists never come to know the truth that sets one free from all forms on bondage and spend their entire post salvation spiritual life trying to retain through religion what religion could never provide them with in the first place.
Our Lord never asks any of His followers to do something that He would not do Himself.
He voluntarily left the comfort and security of Heaven. He voluntarily took the form of humanity upon Himself; He voluntarily did not make use of His divine power other than when required in order to fulfill the Father’s plan, and He voluntarily paid the sin debt for the entire Human race while on the cross. At the cost of great personal sacrifice, He executed the plan of God in behalf of others.
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