lessons from a discipleship training school

I recently came across notes from my nine-month participation in the Antioch Discipleship School in 2013-2014. Just reading the notes stirred me again, made me want more of Jesus, stoked the fires of my faith and gave me pause to consider where I have slowed down my race.

I like to share things, so here we go. These are random quotes and notes that I managed to write down during this very intensive training time, along with some of my expanded thoughts.

It’s not about improvement in us, it’s about greater dependence on God.

Stop. Just stop trying to get better at being a Christian, and start shifting your trust. You trust yourself more than you trust God, if you’re honest with yourself. You trust what you can see far more than you trust what God has said. You rely on what makes sense to you, what is the most logical decision to make, rather than trusting that God will come through if you would be willing to wait on Him. He tells you He’s here, He sees, He knows, and He loves. Lean into that. Rest in that. It’s time to learn that every single thing is in His hand. To know that His heart for you is good, and in a trust fall, He will always, always catch you. Self-improvement is not God’s mandate to you. Surrender and trust…that’s the call to your soul.

If we lower the bar so that we can live up to it, we miss the whole point:  total dependence on God.”

The twisting of His Word in order to make it easier to live up to it is happening all over the place. Resist the urge to join the party. The whole point is that we cannot live up to it apart from the power of God. We must learn to depend on Him for the power to obey Him!

“I’ve never known anyone close to the Lord who gets up late.” Watchman Nee

This was connected to a teaching on spending time with Jesus that re-kindled a fire in me. Rising early to meet with Jesus is one of my favorite activities, so I will just say this to you if you’re on the fence –

You will never regret it. In the end, you will never wish you would have kept sleeping instead, or that you would have done something else with your precious time. You just won’t. He is worth it, I promise.

I didn’t ‘find’ Jesus. I ran from Him and He pursued me and caught me.

If I could eliminate one phrase from the Christian vocabulary it would be anything that sounds like we found Jesus. We see our relationship with Him differently when the truth finally sinks in that we were running from God, and it was His pursuit of us that changed everything about our lives. We didn’t find Him, He found us, because we were the ones who were lost, not Him. He was the One looking for us, not the other way around.

Whatever you think it looks like to you, Jesus found you. Let gratitude well up. Let yourself feel so humbled, so aware that He came after YOU. Because He wanted YOU. Let the scales fall from your eyes so that you can see that you didn’t stumble into God while you were looking for the answer to a deep question, or something to make your life have meaning. You were chosen and pursued by the God who created you for Himself. The God who chose to bear the punishment that your sin deserved so that He wouldn’t be without you for eternity. Rejoice, because the One who pursued you, caught you.

“We live in a world that says how we feel is more important than what is true.” – Ricky Chelette

Yes. This. All I can add is: Truth trumps feelings. It has to, because our feelings are unsteady, fickle, transient things. Truth remains truth no matter what we’re feeling. We must stop telling people that how they feel is what’s most important. There is a difference between acknowledging and even validating the way someone feels, and helping them believe that their feelings are the barometer we use for decisions.

More nuggets…

Everything you do for God needs to be the overflow of intimacy with God.

You want to change the world? Let Jesus love you, and let people watch.

God is more committed to fulfilling His will for your life than you are to finding His will.

Sometimes fears & doubts begin to feel so real that we call it wisdom.

Demons are not your biggest problem. It’s whether or not you are going to submit to Jesus.

The needs of this season are the testimonies of the next season.

God has called us to be a spiritual influence in our world. I exert influence, not because I have a stage, but because He has my heart.

Jesus was the greatest influencer in history, and He lived a suffering life. Am I willing to walk any path, even of suffering, in order to influence others and glorify God?

Humility is not a lack of confidence, it is confidence properly placed – in God.

No one can ruin your life, if God owns it.

We try to comfort ourselves out of difficulty. God wants to comfort us in the midst of difficulty.

Honor is celebrating who someone is without stumbling over who they are not.

God is more interested in why I do what I do, than in what I do.

You are a missionary. It’s not the plane ride that makes you one.

This was just a drop in the bucket of all I learned in the Discipleship School. It was an incredible nine months of my life that I would go back and do again if I could. To anyone who will be going through the school this Fall, I say this – soak. it. up. Take copious amounts of notes, and save them all! You will go back through them many times over the years and find both encouragement and conviction just when you need them.

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