Making disciples is messy. Looking at the apostles’ letters to the churches, or Paul’s letters to his spiritual sons, we see the early church fathers grappling with a wide range of issues that would hold believers back from becoming more like Jesus—blatant sin, faulty doctrines, false teachers, lack of faith, and many more. At one point, in response to the unbelief and perversion in His own generation, Jesus even asked, “How much longer do I have to be with you before you get it?”
As a disciple maker living out the Great Commission, it can often feel discouraging to pour so much of your life into a person or group of people, so much time and energy and prayer, only to watch them get entangled in the same sin again, struggling with the same character issues, running into the same wall. Luckily for us, Jesus Christ didn’t come for perfect people.
Lisa (not her real name) is “missing”…AGAIN! Lisa has committed to follow Jesus. Lisa loves Jesus. Lisa also loves spice and is struggling with a lifelong addiction issue. Lisa was doing so well – Celebrate Recovery on Tuesday nights and worship on Saturday nights. New people, places and things (we thought). Clean and sober! Everything looked great! And then, a “fall”! 40 days in the “wilderness” a.k.a. our local jail. We had Starbucks last week when she was released and she was “back on track”. I am so proud of her! A job. A place to live. Back in the family fold. Then, without warning, Lisa is M.I.A., and my heart is broken. Our spiritual family is grieving. Her Mom’s heart is destroyed...again!
We are in the midst of a harvest; but, it is certainly a “messy” harvest.
In order to submit to the process, you have to sacrifice the idol of your dreams—and it hurts. That’s the real problem with the carpenter shop. We can get so zealous about our prophetic destiny that when God speaks about something else or points us in a direction that we deem contrary to what we have seen in the spirit, we feel robbed. But God is no thief; we know that the real reason He brings us into the dark room is not to lock us away, but to better develop the full picture of who He has made us to be. So the real question we need to ask ourselves is: Why do I feel like God is robbing me?