Peppermint-Breath and Calf-Length-Dress Discipleship
My first experience in Discipleship began not long after making that life-altering decision to be a follower of Christ at the age of 33. The Discipleship started when I was introduced to the church for the first time as a believer. Looking around at the Christians, I knew there was a lot more to this Christian thing than just making a decision. The first thing I needed to do was to look like the other Christians. So I dragged my husband to Penneys and way back in the corner of the “Women’s” section we found them; Church Dresses. You know the kind I am talking about; the calf-length dresses with the ties in the back. There they were in several different colors and patterns to choose from. After picking three, we then headed off to the heavily-opaqued pantyhose and closed-toed shoe department to complete my Church ensemble. The next stop was the Christian bookstore to purchase a “Church-Carrying Bible”. Now, this is not the same Bible that you use at home, this is the thinner version with KJV stamped in bold lettering that fits into the floral patterned Bible case with the handle. That next Sunday morning I donned my new outfit, I eased off the makeup and consumed my share of Starlight Greeter Mints so my breath would ooze peppermint and vanilla instead of the thirty Doritos I had eaten for breakfast. I had passed my first stage of Discipleship and walked into Church looking fresh-faced, despite working until 1:00 am the night before.
Fish Guts and True Discipleship
Twelve men made a life-altering decision to follow Jesus, too. Their Discipleship began when they were introduced not to the church but to the Head of the Church? They were the first Christians. Who were these men and did they look like Christians? Well, many of them were fishermen. I don’t know if you have been around many fishermen, but I know one thing. They are usually dirty and covered in fish guts. Another of the twelve was a tax collector, or in other words, a despised government worker. Then one was most likely an accountant of sorts and another probably a government protestor and rebel. Wow, dirty smelly men whose conversations were dotted with fishing, money, and how bad the government was. This is a far cry from the panty-hosed legged, calf-length dressed, peppermint-breathing lady that I had become.
Jesus spent His time with His Disciples, on a daily basis, for a long time. He taught them who God is and how to follow Him. That’s what true discipleship is all about. These men turned the world upside down despite the aroma of fish, dirty feet, and conversations about politics and money. That’s my job as His Disciple. It is not about appearances or good breath. It’s about showing the people I come into contact with every day, who He is and how to follow Him.
Discerning the Voice of God is Discipleship
Enter in the most recent Bible Study; Discerning the Voice of God, by Priscilla Shirer. All I can say is “WOW”. Priscilla’s book is a great Bible Study and a Discipleship study, all rolled into one. It is the way Bible Studies should be. Her study is 7-weeks filled with daily instruction. Priscilla combines God’s word, Biblical principles, personal instruction, and practical “how-to’s” all together in a way that I have not come across before.
The take-aways from this study will last with me as long as He sees fit to leave me here on earth. Right from the beginning, I wrote down what I wanted to hear from God. Of course, seven weeks later I had forgotten all about it. When I went to review this study, I was shocked. God had hit me right square in the face with it and I wasn’t even aware.
What were the takeaways?
- Obedience isn’t a bunch of rules like sweet-smelling breath and calf-length dresses.
- Obedience isn’t a “no” but His best “yes!
- You can have confirmation of God’s voice which is referred to by Priscilla as the “5 M’s of Confirmation”.
- God’s voice is consistent, persistent, personal, and never contradicts His character or His word.
- God’s directions will result in bringing glory to Him and inner peace to us.
- He didn’t condemn the woman at the well. He was the only one worthy of stoning the woman …BUT HE DIDN’T! It is not condemnation but conviction we feel.
- Moses, the Prince of Egypt became Moses, Shepherd in the Desert. Why? Because bushes don’t burn in palaces, they burn in deserts!
- Realignment of the heart takes place in the desert when we fill it with humility and submission.
- Be ready and be patient. Waiting is not inactivity but a commitment in obedience until God speaks.
- Prayer is less about what we want and more about who He is.
- Learning how to meditate on God’s word, results in His personal and timely word revealed to you.
- Life’s delays are often divine detours.
- Life’s interruptions are divine interventions.
- The true blessing is not only found in hearing God’s voice but in heeding it.
I Recommend It!
As a new believer, I wished I had done this study when I first became a Christian. Discipleship is either missing or deeply misconstrued in a lot of professing Christian’s lives, myself included. True Discipleship works from the inside. It is a transformation of the heart and a healthy spiritual life. Priscilla’s study on Discerning the Voice of God digs into the basic truths of hearing God’s Voice and isn’t that where Discipleship starts? This study is for new believers and old (despite your age). Thank you, Priscilla, for a great Discipleship study that I truly needed. I highly recommend it! Now I am going get up, trade in my dresses for some work clothes and take my Dorito-smelling breath out into the world. I pray He will use me to turn my world upside down!