“Walking” is an interesting concept, as it applies to the post-salvation spiritual life. It implies one having an intended destination, but neither being in a rush nor lagging behind. When two people are involved in a walk, they must maintain an equal pace if they are going to enjoy the benefit of the other’s company and relationship
In our walk with the Lord, most of us find ourselves in the Jonah (Jonah 1:3) or Martha modes (Luke 10: 38-42) from time to time. We are “Jonahs” when we procrastinate, rationalize, or outright refuse to go when the where the Lord is leading us in the service of others and/or for His glory. We are “Marthas” when we get our priorities out of order or attempt to accomplish spiritual objectives through human power and means.
Just as in the natural realm, the newborn spiritual believer is nourished with “milk (1Cor. 3:2NIV/Heb.5: 12NIV)” (elementary doctrines) of the Word of God. As a child develops, he receives more and “solid food (1Cor. 3:2NIV/Heb. 5: 12NIV)” (advanced doctrines). He learns to crawl, stand, and eventually walk with a few skinned knees and bruises along the way. Walking is a process that must be developed.
A triumphant walk with the Lord is not determined by who finishes first (Eccl.9: 11), but what was accomplished along the way and by what power source, human or divine (1Cor. 3: 14, 15).
The Lord Jesus Christ was never early or late for the divine appointments that the plan of God called for, and neither will His disciples who learn to walk with Him.
Once a born again believer has developed a solid doctrinal soul structure, the believer is then ready for discipleship. There must be a distinction made between a Christian who is a “believer”, as all Christians are, and a Christian who is a “disciple”.
Every born again believer will face the day in his walk with the Lord when he has to decide to enter into (2Pet.3: 18) and/or remain (John 6: 66) in discipleship or not.
On a global scale, only the minority of each generation of Man is born again (John 3:3) and only the minorities of those who are born again believers advance or remain in discipleship very long (Luke 8: 14). Discipleship is NOT required in order to retain salvation (John 3: 18), but it is a prerequisite for glorifying God in the post salvation spiritual life.
Only God knows the heart of each one of us, but statistically speaking, Christianity represents 1/3 of the world’s total population at this time, according to published reports. End time Biblical prophecy declares that the Gospel Message will be preached to all nations (Matt.24: 14), but nowhere does it say that everyone will accept it. The Bible is equally clear as to the spiritual destiny of all those who reject it (Where: Rev.20: 15/Why: John 3: 3, 18).
The English word “disciple” is a translation of the Greek word “mathetes” found in the original manuscripts of the New Testament. Mathetes means to be a technical student in a teacher student relationship. Therefore, a “disciple” of the Lord Jesus Christ is a believer who chooses to be schooled in the Word of God and applies the knowledge he receives to the daily events of his post salvation spiritual life under the filling (control) of God the Holy Spirit (John 15:5).
All believers are forever saved and can be moral and religious individuals with a minimal exposure to Scripture, but they cannot be “disciples”.
In order for the disciple to “walk” with the Lord, he needs to be secured with the yoke of discipleship. This yoke is one of liberation (John 8:32), not bondage.
A yoke is a harnessing device in which an animal is secured so that it can be used for labor. Providing the animal goes in the direction and at the pace that the controller desires, they feel no resistance or pressure from the yoke. To the degree that the beast attempts to lag behind, speed up, or deviate from the desired course, they encounter pressure from the yoke (Heb.12: 6).
When the disciple walks at the desired pace and direction established by the Lord Jesus Christ, the labor is pleasant, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11: 30 NIV).” It is when we become Jonahs or Marthas that the yoke is difficult and the burden gets heavy in our walk with the Lord.
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