“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations …” Matthew 28:19
Over the last few weeks I have been reminded of the importance of the great commission. Every Christ follower is expected to make disciples and it’s the number Jesus most cares about. Not the number of people in your church, small group or ministry. Are you making disciples?
The fact is a busy life makes it so much harder to find time to pour into the lives of others. In addition, discipling people means making our lives accessible to others. So many things get in the way of this. This led me down to one question : How can I simplify my life to make room for this critical mission – of making disciples?
Over and over we hear Jesus asking people to let go of dead weight each time when He spoke of following Him:
“Let the dead bury their dead” – Matthew 8:22
“Don’t hold the plow and look back” – Luke 9:62
“Sell all your possessions” – Matthew 19:21
Different instructions in each case, but He basically was charging these people to simplify their lives so they could follow Him.
This question on simplifying my own life stumped me, especially since I thought I was already prioritizing the important things in life. I realize now that simplifying your life might entail two things, one more obvious than the other:
- Stripping away the fat: Cutting away clutter in our lives or distractions that prevent us from using time and resources wisely. How much time do you spend on Facebook, movies, video games and other time wasters? (Hebrews 12:1)
- Deferring on gratification: Could there be non-harmful things that we love and enjoy in our lives, that we can strip out momentarily and defer for the future? Think saving for retirement – sacrifice now so you can enjoy later. Instead of finishing that book in a month, is it such a big deal to do so in two months so you can free up more of yourself? (Matthew 6:33)
How may God be prompting you to simplify your life? Reflect on it and figure out what steps He wants you to take. Also, find someone that keeps you accountable. A good place to start could be ‘striping the fat’ or ‘deferring on some gratification’. Let’s get to it.