Do any of you wonder why Jesus, at the end of His Great Commission, closes with, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b)? It’s because as Christians go and make disciples, they will find out one thing: It’s hard! Living under His authority, immersing ourselves in the Triune God, teaching them to observe everything He commanded–this is a supernatural activity that Satan deplores and attacks in varied and subtle ways, supplying excuses and emotional reactions from anger to anxiety to apathy. But knowing Jesus is with us every step of the way what we need to remember to accomplish His Commission.
When it comes to making disciples, you are not alone. When it comes to going through the peaks and valleys of the Christian walk, you’re not alone. Even, as Psalm 23 says, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear [why?] for you are with me.”
You see, the idea of recognizing Christ’s authority in all things, being commissioned as disciple-makers to be immersed as well as immerse others from all nations into the Triune God, to teach them everything Christ commanded you–this is one tall, seemingly overwhelming task. In fact, many times we struggle and think, “I’ll just take care of my own life.” But Scripture reminds us that “You are not your own, but you were bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19). We do not belong only to ourselves. When Christ rescued us, we are now His. And while that may cut against the grain of our culture in the “You Be You” framework in which many live, we are His by His grace.
- He is with us in His Word. Have an intentional plan for encountering Christ in His Word. Whether it’s a 90-day Bible reading plan or reading a chapter a day, engage the Scriptures to encounter Christ’s person and plan. The key word is ‘intentional.’
- He is with us by the Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a disciple-being, disciple-making antenna in your Monday through Saturday life. It’s one thing to talk about and acknowledge Christ’s Commission to disciple, but the Spirit is there to change your heart to be an intentional disciple who intentionally makes disciples of Jesus. When you ask the Spirit to make your aware, He will. Be ready.
- He is with us in prayer. Don’t pray in order for God to be on your side in a matter. Don’t pray with an arrogance of you being better than another. Pray because you want to know who Jesus is, what He’s done, and what He aims to do through you. Pray until you pray!
- He is with us with our Church! As Christ builds His church, surrender your ideas about church to His plan and purpose. Before we make our plans for church, we must engage with His plans for His church and make our plans prayerfully and carefully in accordance with Christ’s plan. Otherwise, the church will simply be a man-made, philanthropic, non-profit organization rather that a Christ-exalting, Spirit-soaked organism from which the organization is spawned.