Part 3 of a series of blogs on discipleship. So far we’ve learned that disciples are reproducers.

In John 15, Jesus speaks of abiding in Him. “If you abide in Me and I in you … you will bear much fruit … if you abide in Me … ask and it will be given.” Later He adds, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant will also be” (John 12:26). To be a disciple of Jesus is to be one with Him.

Abiding – be where Jesus is, means being constantly aware of His presence in our lives. Often that’s the last thing we want to do. We frequently have an agenda of our own that we’d prefer to follow, or perhaps something is going on inside us that we are ashamed of. But in order to follow Jesus as His disciples, we need to submit to God’s word and allow it to judge “the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). When God examines us, it is then that we see our sinfulness and recommit ourselves to God’s plans and purposes. The goal, according to Jesus, is to be an attentive servant, ready to respond to His prompting. We want to keep “in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

We need to prioritize investing time with Jesus. Disciples yearn to ensure that God’s word has predominance over our thoughts and actions. I have read and studied the Scriptures for nearly 50 years, the accumulated understanding I’ve gained certainly helps, but it is not the solution to neither my sinfulness, my becoming distracted nor my waywardness. Encounters with Jesus need to be fresh, frequent, and transparent.

It is in being where He is that we get our instructions for His assignments both in and through us. Our lives in Jesus must be initiated from within. The words we speak, and the boldness to speak them, must all come from Him.

To grasp the heart and mind of Jesus and access the power He promises, it requires being with Him.

Yet understand, in renewing our minds and hearts, we can only do so much alone in our closets. We also need the help of our brothers and sisters. The Bible tells us, “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We need one another to implant and to practice God’s “one anothering”. We need one another to stay pure, motivated and on God’s path. Disciples are not meant to be lone rangers.

Disciples walk with Jesus. We are meant to be one with Jesus.