SALT STORY : Joe Ferguson

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I would usually describe discipleship as a journey of navigating how to be more like Jesus. Yes, that is true, however I have made that such a black and white statement like it’s school. I plug in A discipleship to B disciplines, prayer, multiplication, etc. and that should equal C being closer to Jesus. I have been waiting for “C” to drop. I have been waiting for it to all click and just make sense.  I have believed that is the secret sauce, or formula, to get Jesus from discipleship.

The truth, I’ve discovered recently, is discipleship does not work that way, nor does Jesus. It isn’t a formula to plug your life into and then everything makes sense.I’ve realized in the last couple weeks that discipleship is fluid and dynamic. It is constantly changing and moving in new directions. At first I kept thinking something was wrong. I was evaluating what I was missing. What I needed to do differently or better.

Then Parker (who disciples me) said something that he has had on repeat and is now finally sinking in,

“Discipleship is unbroken fellowship with Jesus”.

Such a simple statement, yet was so disturbing for me. Why?

In all honesty I wanted easy. I wanted a program. I wanted something to accomplish and track my progress. I wanted something that I could put into my mind and in my own strength replicate for masses of others to be part of. To glorify myself.

As I wrestled with what Parker so simply spoke out. I began to see unbroken fellowship is dynamic. It’s relationship. Relationships are always changing and growing. It’s that it is always about the heart. Where is my heart? What is my motivation? As much as I wanted something set in stone. Discipleship can’t be that. True love and intimacy are not a formulated process.

In recognizing this I have discovered that there is only one thing certain about discipleship. It is trust.  And the truth is, it’s something I have to check myself on daily. And that realization changed everything for me.

What I mean by trust is asking myself this; is Jesus my Lord? Have I submitted to his authority? Which then directly correlates to the person disicpling me. Have I submitted to his authority? Do I trust Jesus and Parker, the man Jesus has put in my life to lead me closer to him?

This submitting to authority has given foundation to the rest of my life. That discipleship is learning how to choose to live in unbroken fellowship with Jesus - in my marriage, friendships, work, driving, eating... seriously, the list goes on!

No longer do I want to plug in a formula, instead I want to ask myself, have I truly chosen You, Jesus? For the first time since getting saved my heart truly longs to not see a mass production of disciples but to see people encounter love and live with Love.

-Joe Ferguson