Seven ‘A’s of Discipleship
…For an effective door of ministry
We continue the theme of the secrets which set apart the holy men who are much wanted now. God in His unswerving wisdom continues His search for such men because they are the ones who will stand in the breach and bridge the gap, at the cost which it will cost. They will be those rejected by men, like David the youth, but they will be the ones who will quench the consuming fire of God’s wrath, because they make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before the land, at the same time, being quenched themselves. They will suffer now but later bask in glory in the day of the Lord. 1 Sam 13:14 & Ezekiel 22:30.
The secrets of Discipleship can be unlocked and brought to life in those willing to complete the seven ‘A’s, as through these they will not only bring blessing upon themselves but also be a blessing unto others. This narrow way is the only way for an effective door of ministry to remain in the life of a true disciple.
Whatever may be your background, this is the starting point and poignantly the ending point too! The agape of God was shown on the cross for the ungodly, the unworthy and the undeserving. It is the gift of God, the greatest thing and the incomparable possession anyone can have.
You may think you have it but after the tests that God puts you through, you will realize that there are levels you will flounder in, which are many rocks and crevices away from that which the Lord Himself set by His own standards. You can read much about it in the Word, but unless that becomes flesh, the Body of Christ stands to lose and the world does not get the message that Jesus was sent to the world by God the Father (1 John).
Agape involves sacrificial giving and giving that which pleases God! God is a giver, remember!
Agape involves substitutional interceding. Contrast Cain denying that he was his brother’s keeper. Consider Judah volunteering to be the surety for his brother Benjamin. Think of Paul’s heart cry in Romans 9:1-5.
Most notable men in God’s scheme of operations over the ages past built personal altars. This is a POC (Point of Contact), a basis of relationship with God where He has revealed Himself to that man. Those who did not build altars remained small and insignificant in God’s home and melted into the crowd, sometimes becoming stumbling blocks even!
The altar is the place where a man communes with God over all that God wants to accomplish in his life and more. God’s dealing, revelation and promises to our lives are firmly established through these places which double up as memorials, pointers, milestones and landmarks.
They mark a particular experience or encounter with God, sometimes given names for remembrance which have remained through the ages and even down to our generation! They remain functional even today! In fact, today’s body of the knowledge of God is what some persons diligently received personally on their knees at their personal altars.
A stunning example is that of Noah in Gen 8:20-22 and 9:1-17. God’s response to Noah’s altar was He ‘said in His heart’ that He will restrain Himself in mercy – God was moved to commitment that not only that generation but even yours and mine are affected from that altar!
Do you notice the power of the personal altar? Will you be that man or woman to affect your generation and the coming ones in a new blessed way?
Building altars means a regular practice as it directly relates to God’s plan for your growth. Experience after experience takes you to higher ground and a new mountain, and at every juncture, you remember the experience because you have built an altar! Consider Abraham’s, Isaac’s and Jacob’s altars in your private study.
You may have heard many sermons on this topic but just to recall the 5-fold tip from the physical altar construction advice from God Himself in Exo 20: repentance, simple, humility, confession, your own offering!
Come now to Matthew 5:1-2. Here is tested the level of your relationship with God. At low plain level, the requests are ‘Give me clothes’, ‘Give me money’, and so on. At mount level, it becomes a vision request. As in Pisgah, the vision of the heavenly home; at Carmel, of spiritual rain and at Moriah, supreme sacrifice.
The Sermon on the Mount is for those who are summoned up to the mount, away from the crowd that would stay at the foot of the hill. There are special teachings on the mount unknown to those on the plain, such that their faces are shining indeed. It is a truth indeed that men are never made in the valley or amidst the crowds. Special and specific instructions are given from the fulness of God which get into the details of one’s lives.
This means that you must have the courage to come up to the mount. It is not for those who like to be pampered but those ready to feel the heat when God looks into the details which are normally overlooked by man. But the end is glory, resulting from the divine alignment and balance.
Consider again Abraham’s journey up to Moriah which revealed his availability, ‘away’ness, obedience, perseverance, purposefulness and resultant blessedness in Gen 22.
Here the story revolves around two natures, two masters, two men and one cross! Luke 9:23 reveals the secret of a victorious life which is primarily ‘a risen’ life! Human nature is sinful and carnal nature and it is possible to live all your life for the flesh and thus pursue the lower, carnal nature. The flesh who dwells within, controls the mind of a man. It is important to know that the flesh uses only the mind and the physical body, not the spirit!
Such a ‘Me’ life can manifest negatively as well as positively but both are dead self lives. They do not profit the New Man, and hinder the progressive, resurrected life which is the privilege of every hungry and thirsty believer.
We cannot serve two masters. The human nature is enemy. Therefore, we must bring our hear, life, works and ministry under the search light of God’s Spirit and Word. We must identify humbly, pinpoint and confront the presence of the Old Man. We must plead for a definite deliverance from the old nature. At the Cross. Gal 2:20.
This is a journey, like the other As, and few reach such heights as God desires.
Anointing is a divine input into a person’s life, to make him, in a way, divine and to make him share, in whatever quantity, in the ability with which God operates. It is simply the outworking of the Holy Spirit within a man. It grows quietly to break the yoke of sin, sickness and Satan in the lives of other men. The end is to glorify Christ.
Samson was anointed to break the yoke of the giants, the Anak. The basis was the Nazarite consecration. The request by God ‘I pray thee’ to his parents were meticulously followed and the Spirit began to move him. The enemy noted him but there was no chance that he could be blocked as long as the Nazarite consecration was on him. It kept him on the work for 20 years of exploits…..before collapse…….through a series of failures which saw the domination of the flesh, many hasty decisions, seeking self-pleasure and despising godly counsel.
Consecration is the foundation of the anointing. Beware of the stumbling blocks which Satan puts in the way of the anointed – make no provision for the flesh!
Ask Seek Knock
Nothing happens except in answer to your ‘asking’, ‘knocking’, and ‘seeking’ prayer. This is so vital that failing to do so will result in inability to fulfil God’s call in your life.
Asking involves a definite request while seeking is about a strong desire for something, leading to a definite search for it. Don’t we search only for those things which are precious for us? Precious things are normally kept under lock and key.
The Lord delights in hiding Himself, and His treasures are hidden in Him. He does this in order that He might be glorified as God. His knowledge comes to us only when we are seeking.
Without asking there will be no receiving. We should not be unbelieving but ask, whether spiritual or physical. Secondly, seek the revelation from God’s word, the wisdom of God, the kingdom of God, heavenly things, the grace of God. They are all hidden. Thirdly, knock on the doors of ministry so that the One who opens and no one shuts, who shuts and no one opens, may release what He has kept in store for our personal lives and ministry.
The righteousness imputed to us by the Lord Jesus must result in external fruits of righteousness in our lives. Come with me to Matthew 6:1-34. Our righteous acts must include giving, praying, fasting, being of one focus, being loyal to one Master, and ensuring you do not worry abut your needs. Each of these acts must become our regular lifestyle. Very important to the acceptance of these acts by our Lord is the instruction that these must be done in the right attitude: not before men and not seeking your glory, but God’s!
Righteous acts are not optional for any Christian. While none of these acts have power on their own to save us, (we are saved by grace through faith), yet the internal work of grace done at salvation must become external acts of righteousness in order that our faith be made perfect. If done the right way, they attract a reward from God. They constitute treasures stored up in heaven for us.
The As Of Kingdom Lifestyle
The Kingdom needs disciples who will make disciples who will make disciples. It involves life transfer. May we all be turned towards Jesus always and tuned to His Life! May the rigor of the A’s bring their perfect fruit in our lives for the glory of the Son of God and ou