Mark 1 is such an amazing passage. In rapid fire Mark recounts one event after another in the early ministry of Jesus. Jesus announces that the Kingdom of God has come near! Then he walks along the Sea of Galilee and tells the fishermen, “Come follow me”. Immediately, Peter and the others drop everything and followed him. Then he travels to Capernaum and preaches his first sermon, only to be interrupted by a demonized man. Jesus rebukes the evil spirit, and it immediately leaves the man. Then, as soon as they leave the synagogue, they go to Peter’s house, where Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law. That evening “the whole town gathered at the door” and late into the night Jesus healed many and cast out many demons.
For many of us, that pace of life might sound familiar, but listen to what happened next.
“Very early the next morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
Despite the victories of the night before, the bidding of his team, and the draw of popularity from the villagers, Jesus announces it’s time to move on to new villages, because “That is why I have come”.
Through the years, this has been such a challenge to me. I am very prone to being driven by a need to be successful. I am also highly affected by the people around me and the need to be popular. Jesus resists both of these pressures. How does he do it?
Mark’s account makes it clear that the ability Jesus had to resist both of these temptations was rooted in his relationship with the Father.
It’s always difficult to keep “BEING” and “DOING” in the place. Our “being” in relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit needs to come first, and out that relationship can come “doing” ministry. Religion has a lot to do with “doing”. Trying to do the right things in order to be acceptable to God and others. Relationship is completely different.
I’ve always liked the slogan of the Dehra Dun Vineyard: “From Religion to Relationship”. Relationship with God has to be the roots out of which our discipleship grows. And here’s the thing: the people we disciple will imitate what we do more than what we say.
WE need to be a disciple rooted in relationship first in order to disciple OTHERS to have the same kind of roots.
EXPERIENCING GOD is the foundational trait of being a Disciple. Here are some important behaviors that help describe what experiencing God looks like:
- Increasing in your awareness of God’s love and presence
- Growing in the knowledge and grace of God
- Reflecting on and applying Scripture in your everyday life
- Dialoguing authentically with God
- Worshipping God in spirit and in truth
(The Discipleship Difference, Logan and Ridley, p.28)
WHAT ARE SOME DAILY HABITS THAT YOU HAVE ESTABLISHED TO EXPERIENCE GOD?
ARE “BEING” and “DOING” PROPERLY BALANCED?
ARE YOU BEING REFRESHED IN GOD’S PRESENCE?
IS THE MINISTRY FLOWING OUT WHAT YOU HEAR FROM GOD?