Focusing on our failures and insecurities, relinquishes authority. We are diminishing our impact and turning our backs on the empowerment available. God never called any of us to this mission because of our ability, He called and empowered us by His Holy Spirit because of His ability. When we try to accomplish the work of God in our own strength it can lead to exhaustion, burn out, and sometimes something even worse. In the power of God, we are led to encouragement, strength, and joy. It is HE who does the work, and it is our joy to bring Him glory and see the work only he can do.
So how do we do this? Walking empowered by God can be an elusive concept or something unsure we are doing. I would be lying if I did not say in my walk with God that I did not wonder at times if God was with me? Looking back on those times with hindsight I can see that He was right there. We must go to a story from Scripture that has always helped me walk empowered and recognize when I am not. The story is from Joshua 5:13-15.
The Fall of Jericho
13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” 14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” 15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Can you imagine? Joshua face to face with Preincarnate Christ. Joshua, so focused on his mission will stop at seemingly nothing. Then, realizing who stands in front of him, he falls to his face in worship. I love the courage Joshua demonstrates! From the passage I see three applications we can take away and apply to our own empowered walk with Christ to live out the life of an intentional disciple-maker. We must walk in obedience, walk in confidence, and walk in reverence.
Walking in Obedience.
No where do we see this the call to make disciples as optional. Have the distractions of life pulled you away or limited you in approaching the mission of Christ as Joshua approached the walls of Jericho? When God calls his people to do something he expects obedience. When we follow Christ’s model and go intentionally invest in the life of another, we know the Spirit of God will empower you to do so. We know this because it is HIS mission. I want to encourage you to approach the mission of disciple making with an attitude of obedience much like Joshua.
Walking in Confidence.
Joshua challenged the Preincarnate Christ. So confident and focused on the mission he was ready to take on anyone or anything in the way. For years I battled with my own insecurities. I did not start out with a seminary degree. I only had a few years under my belt of even walking with the Lord. Over the years this changed by the grace of God and understanding his mission.
Not a self-confidence, but a confidence that comes from understanding the authority God has given, the mission we are called to that the Spirit of God will do the heavy lifting. We need to be willing to show up and walk in the calling God has given to us. One of my great fears is that I would step away from an opportunity to intentionally disciple someone and God would have to find someone else to do what he asked me to do. That fear sends chills up my spine.
Walking in Reverence.
Joshua fell facedown. He realized that this man in front of Him was THE Commander of the Lord’s army. He worshipped the commander and did what was asked. Joshua in that moment knew exactly who he was in light of whose company he was in.
When we pursue the call to be a disciple-maker we must never forget who is in charge. The church, disciple-making and the entirety of the Great Commission is the design of Jesus and when we keep perspective we stay in a healthy place. This reverence for Christ helps us to access the power of the Holy Spirit because we are getting out of the way. We lay prostrate completely dependent on Him who called us.
In your life have you become too dependent on yourself? Do you find yourself minimizing the Great Commission or taking it for granted? We are walking the life of a disciple. The authority comes from God and the strength to accomplish it as well. No mission is greater this side of Heaven and we must walk obediently in a holy reverent confidence in God. When we do this we see the walls of sin fall in those we disciples lives.
This post originally appeared at: The Empowered Walk | Relational Discipleship Network (rdn1.com)