Discipleship In the Messiness of Real Life

“The end result of discipleship is not merely the knowledge of all Jesus commanded, but the obedience to all Jesus commanded.”

from Transformational Discipleship by Eric Geiger, Michael Kelley, & Philip Nation

Dearest Readers,

I was in the midst of writing the third installment on My Year of Trust, only to be derailed by God. Often, God hinders our stories, at least the ones we have planned and exchanges them for a story that will lead others to Him.

Will I ever learn it is more about Him and less about me? 

As this is My Year of Trust, I couldn’t see any other way but to TRUST Him.

Stay with me, and I will explain.

In our past, there were bigger homes, good food, and family gathered around our sizeable wooden table.  Humility was not in my vocabulary, nor was it a thing I expected to experience.

But, life happened.

  • loss of business
  • loss of income
  • a long distance move
  • an empty nest
  • downsizing
  • a dramatic health change

This is when we found ourselves deciding to purchase a mobile home. We needed help to care for me, and we needed it fast.

That is how we came to live in our Wilderness Place.

On a beautiful day, there is no prettier a place. The view behind us is endless. Deer and turkey romp around while hawks fly overhead. The silence is peaceful — the vastness feels infinite.

We love it.

However, in a rainy season, we are quickly mired up in the mud.

The Wilderness Place is where discipleship in the messiness of everyday life happens.

Every Sunday afternoon women gather around my living room and share life, coffee, and if I have them, a bag of Oreos. We share the good, the bad, the hard, and the ugly. All. Of. It.

Last week it rained buckets in the south and we found ourselves sitting in a mud pit.

Not only did we have mud, but also an unmade bed with linens that needed washing. Christmas decorations yet to be put away, piled atop the bed. And, yes, our small Christmas tree, simply decorated still sits in the den.

In case you are wondering, the lights are on.

In the hard edges of life, if a few twinkling lights make us happy, who can argue?

Amidst the mud, an unmade bed, decorations left out, Sunday afternoon with my small group happened anyway.

When will we come to understand that discipleship is less about the home, less about us, and more about serving Jesus by serving others?

Hot coffee, leftover Christmas candy, and a group of women sharing life and learning more about God.

Discipleship is not a place; it is not perfection, it is messy and real. It is not what we serve but who we serve.

True discipleship is meeting others where they are and pointing the way to the well of Living Water.

True discipleship is about heart change and loving others well.

Hope in the hard edges of life.

Disciples who make disciples will love others well in the midst of the mud, the messiness, and brokenness of our everyday, ordinary, humble lives.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20 (CSB)

Do you see that? “Go, and make disciples.” 

“The end result of discipleship is not merely the knowledge of all Jesus commanded, but the obedience to all Jesus commanded.”  from Transformational Discipleship by Eric Geiger, Michael Kelley, & Philip Nation

Discipleship can happen whether your house is big or small, clean or messy, your cookies are home baked or from a bag.

Obedience is going and making disciples or inviting others into your home in the midst of your messy, muddy, and broken lives.

From The Wilderness Place

Your Wilderness Guide,

You are welcome here! Sign up here and receive new posts directly in your inbox. 

I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me at tlmashburn@yahoo.com. 

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word is available now. Order your copy today.

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