*This is a bit of a long read, 3 part series, however please trust me that it is worth it.
I have compiled two parts to this series, here are the link:
We are finally in the last part of the series, and to be honest, this is not only my favorite topic, but also what I see as the most important. How do we maximize our experience as a disciple of Christ?
Jesus Christ seemingly brought His disciples through “exercises”. For example, telling Peter to get out of the boat and walk on water. I imagine that situation challenged and changed him a bit. Another aspect about discipleship that immediately stands out to me is being covered in the dust of the rabbi. In ancient Judaism, the disciple would follow the rabbi so closely (both physically and metaphorically) that it was said the goal would be to be covered in the dust of the rabbi from wherever he walked (both metaphorically and physically).
So for this blog, I want to take you through about 10 years of “exercises” I participated in, and have benefited from, in an effort to be covered by the “dust” of my Rabbi Jesus Christ.
I am going to say this now, and surely exhort you with the same point at the end of this blog. Begin making a journal of your discipleship “exercises”, your prayers, your studies, and your thoughts. I cannot stress the importance of this in your Christian walk. The review that I have been able to do again and again is truly priceless.
One aspect of discipleship that always seems to come to the forefront for me is “facing our fears”. I have read many Christian authors on this topic and have challenged myself in various ways. For example, Live On The Edge is a exercise to challenge you with the two following questions:
“What would I do if I knew I wouldn’t fail?”
“What could I do right now that would maximize my life completely?”
Living as if you truly will “live forever” was an early on obsession of mine as I grew in Christ. The website to to that exercise has since been taken down, however if you spend some time reading the blogs I wrote early on you get invited into this concept and how it blessed me, and how it can potentially bless you. Here is one, http://newsfromthetribe.blogspot.com/2009/06/dont-wanna-waste-my-life.html
It was thinking along these lines that I read through and watched various clips that encouraged me to created B-HAD’s (Big Hairy Audacious Dreams) and to write up my “bucket list”. Again, you should know that ‘eternal life’ has everything to do with you finding fulfillment in this life. As John Piper remarked, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him”. I strongly urge you to work on those things, I would love to go through the details with you (Give me a call @ 631-363-6111 or email me at ChristianityGoneWild@yahoo.com)
Here are a couple of other sites that really encouraged me to challenge myself and live fully, dare I say getting out of the boat to truly walk on water:
If you were to ask me, what encouraged you to live so fully, my response would be the knowledge of God. We read in 2 Peter chapter 1, “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a Godly life. We have received this by coming to know Him, the One who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence”.
What this knowledge has done in my life is give me what I refer to as a “zeal empowered by knowledge”, an intense focus that contrasts what we read about in Romans chapter 10. I love the way Charles Spurgeon detailed the importance of this, “Give me a man not only with great object in his soul, but thoroughly possessed by it, his powers all concentrated and himself on fire with vehement zeal for his supreme object, and you have put before me one of the greatest sources of power the world can provide”.
All of this led to my beginning a ministry called “Freaked Out Fellowship” wherein we issued discipleship challenges each week. We developed “mission sheets” that included but were not limited to wacky evangelism, going to the highest point of our land to pray (as Elijah did to seek the Lord), practice kundalini yoga (well, at least some of us), and continually inviting others to join us in Christian activity. Two main concepts were studying the message and the expressions of the Old Testament prophets and “Acting Out Acts” (reading through details in the Book of Acts and finding creative ways to bring them into modern expression).
Much of my life today is lived out as a reality of all of these things mentioned. I cannot even begin to express the joy I had in reading through and reviewing my journey. And…I would love to invite you into the same joy.
If you are looking for some good reading and want to be further challenged in these regards of “spiritual disciplines” and living life to the full, here are some of my older blogs:
Also, here are a couple of my sermons that allude to the same points.
Be blessed. Continue to seek, search, study and live a life that is satisfying, truly satisfying, which brings glory to our Mighty God.
In His Service,
Pastor Michael Miano