If the end purpose of discipleship is a heart growing in humility, then one of the first expressions of such humility is prayer.
A common mistake.
Often, while attempting to make disciples in the context God has planted us (home, church, community, workplace, etc), we tend to desire a way to measure progress in disciple-making. And the common mistake us to use our own cultural preferences as the ultimate standard for Spiritual Transformation. This mistake takes the form of assignments completed, goals reached, behavior kept.
It makes sense within our culture.
It give us comfort, since these are metrics we know and feel comfortable with.
Unfortunately, all of them can present without a meaningful transformation. All of them can be maintained with sheer force; no need of God the Holy Spirit, here.
A mark of transformation.
If we agree the humanity of Jesus Christ – who is 100% God and 100% man – is the archetype for us, His followers, then it is the nature of His interactions with the Father and with those around Him that should be our measuring stick.
A fundamental element of that nature is humility. And a significant example of that humility can be found here, in the 26th chapter of Matthew:
38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
No denial of pain and suffering. No excuses about the human condition. A clear declaration of personal preferences. But a submission to the will of the Father.
All that in a prayer.
The Gethsemane Event is humility in action. It is this kind of events that God the Holy Spirit – the Third Person of the Holy Trinity – produces in the heart of those that belong to Him, regardless of human culture.
A way of making sense.
Expressing our humility through prayer, we can find a way to make sense of this life. Gethsemane Events will help us to reacquire the right perspective, to give the right priorities to each element of our daily life. These Events will help us to deal with the here and now, at the same time that we consider the coming eternity.
Praying in humility, assisted by God the Holy Spirit, will make it easier and easier to set aside our own cultural preferences and agendas, for the benefit of those around us – even if the can’t keep watch with us – and for the glory of His Name.
How far is your prayer life, currently, to the Gethsemane Event? What does the Triune God of the Universe need to do to take you closer to it? In humility and desperation, ask Him to intervene in your life accordingly.
Remember His grace, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate constantly, All in cultural diversity.