The Book of James Discipleship Meeting:
My view of a discipleship meeting vs. any other meeting is that discipleship is about learning how to better walk with Jesus. The meeting is not about “worshiping” as in music, it’s about New Testament worship, the laying down of our lives (Romans 12:1). The meeting is not about having more cerebral information about a text, like most Bible studies. It’s about learning to hear what God is saying through the scriptures, talking about it with other saints, building each other up unto the likeness of Christ. Nothing wrong with “worship”, or Bible studies, or passionate preaching. Those things are good. I’ve just found that our time is best spent getting our hands dirty in each other’s lives. And challenging people to participate, getting their “hands” on the word. Talking about it, consuming it.
James 1:8 a two-souled man [is] unstable in all his ways.
(These studies all build on one another. Revisit the last post on James to get the scoop on the context.)
So, James is coming out of the prayer closet crazy eyed and begins to challenge the reader of this letter. He speaks to the heart of duality of men. Something he continues to do throughout this letter. We’re all too aware, within ourselves, of the division we have. Paul struggled with this division and even stated, “Who will save me from this body of death?!” Romans 7:24. There are some very practical applications for this specific verse from James, especially in regard to surrender and fully choosing to walk with God. Turning from our old lives and walking with Christ. But, that was not the focus of our topic on Thursday night.
What James was doing by speaking so forthrightly to the people was challenging them unto repentance. In those days there was a fierce commitment to the Church. People we’re dieing for their faith in that area. And to be challenge was to be loved, because they believed that the condition of your soul was most important. It was and still should be a welcomed action. Who else is going to look out for the condition of our souls, if our brothers and sisters don’t?
But, we’ve waited for organizations to prescribe to us programs and seminars to provide for us spirituality. And if they we’re not in place a lot of us would probably dry up spiritually. We judge the preaching on Sunday mornings, sometimes it’s exactly what we need other times it’s not. We are very far from allowing someone to challenge us in the deep places in a personal way. This is bad.
What we’ve misplaced in our current expression of faith is the recognition of our spiritual family. God has place spiritual family in our lives. Spiritual Family is not a synonym for “your church”. Your church may have little to nothing to do with your spiritual family. We as christians, in our current expression, have delegated christian faith to a meeting on Sunday mornings, where we are barely engaged and therefore left to our own devices to grow and progress. And believe me some rocks grow faster than most traditional churches grow in Christ. And you know what? Most “church going” folks who are neglecting their spiritual families are not only not growing, but they miss the beautiful satisfaction of living connected to a loving spiritual family. Which in my eyes, is the whole “church” ball game. Sunday mornings are not needed. Family is needed.
Who is your spiritual family? God has put them in your life whether you have recognized it or not. If you have a little trouble recognizing them, you may need to pray and ask God to reveal them. Hit the reset button on your life is Christ and let your spiritual family be primary. Jesus did. When Mary, the holy virgin, came to see Him as He taught He said “Who are my mother and my brothers? Those who do the will of my Father.”
Although having spiritual fathers and mothers is a New Testament principle. It’s one that depends completely on the posture of love and sacrifice for the children. If a spirit of dominance and control are involved in spiritual parents, it is not of God. In fact, Jesus said that “Call no one father for you have only one father in Heaven.” (Matthew 23:9) And he also said, “You are all brothers and sisters.” (Matthew 23:8) Whenever a person is in a loving role where they lay down their lives for you and care for you in way that is unique and worthy of honor then it’s safe to call them a mother or father. But if ever and when ever that title is hung over you in control or pride, then the holiness is removed. God has made a way for us be children of God. There are no spiritual grandchildren. But love and honor is the bonding agent.
Whatever your lacking, your spiritual family is put in your life to help you receive it. Whatever failures you need help through, they are there for you. Whatever issues you would like to avoid, they won’t let you avoid it. God has gifted them to uniquely help you. It’s not always cool or easy, but when embraced it’s the thing that will set you free and empower you to do God’s will. Spiritual family is the will of God. And it’s beautiful in our sight.