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Are We Making Jesus Followers (I like Jesus) or Disciples (I obey Jesus)? PART 2

This is part two of a repost of an article by C. Anderson, originally published October 21, 2021. Article reposted with permission from https://www.dmmsfrontiermissions.com. Part one was posted last week.

Whether a Process or an Immediate “Aha Moment” – Allegiance Shift Must Come

Jesus didn’t always call for immediate commitment. It always came eventually. He didn’t allow so-called disciples to be comfortable following Him, without giving up their old ways. They had to be all in.

Some heard His parables and followed Him, wanting to hear more. They walked through a process that went from…

1) I have no idea who Jesus is to

2) I’m greatly interested to hear more from this teacher to

3) I can’t get enough of this man’s strangely life-giving words to

4) This man is the Son of God, the Messiah to

5) I am ready to lay my life down for Him.

For others, they heard Him once, were healed, touched, and immediately repented and turned completely. An example of this was Zaccheus, the tax collector. A few hours with Jesus and he was completely changed. His allegiance shifted from the god of money and wealth to the worship of Christ.

I am not a big “sinner’s prayer” person. Praying a prayer can have value and I’ve certainly had people pray one at times. What is more important than a prayer, however, is a shift of allegiance from other loyalties and other gods to obedience to Jesus in all things.

If we do not see this shift happen naturally, we can create opportunities for decision-making to take place. The timing of this requires prayer and discernment and can not be given a specific time frame. It depends on the person and context. For many, the shift comes before obedience to Christ in baptism.

What Do We Mean by Shifting Allegiance?

To be clear in our terminology, when we say shifting allegiance we mean their loyalty changes. They no longer look to the prophet Mohammed, but look to Jesus as their source of truth and direction in all things. They no longer serve money and wealth, they obey Christ and choose a life of loving and giving to the poor. No more do they worship all gods and bow to idols, they acknowledge Christ Jesus as the One True God, the Way, Truth, and Life. Family and community are important, but faced with a decision, they will choose obedience to Christ in all things.

This is what we mean by a shift in allegiance. It must happen; whether gradually, or at a specific moment. Without that shift, we will not make disciples, but only gather followers or seekers.

Here are some principles to consider as you think about this issue.

1) True persons of peace are those who shift allegiance. It can take time to identify them.

Someone may welcome you and even invite others to listen. But if they do not shift allegiance and begin to obey, they will not be someone through whom you reach the entire community.

2) Millions wait to hear, invest your time in those ready to commit to obedience.

Especially as we work with those who have never heard the good news, we can not afford to invest huge amounts of time in seekers who don’t commit. Move on and keep looking for those who are ripe for the Gospel. They wait for your message.

3) At the Holy Spirit’s direction, boldly give a call to complete surrender.

Peter did this quickly with the crowd on the day of Pentecost. “Repent and believe,” he said. Repentance is necessary for becoming a disciple. There are times when we wait as well. Avoid being pushy and preachy. Let the Holy Spirit do the work of conviction. For some, especially from other religious backgrounds, or who have deep woundings from the church, more time can be needed. They need time to be drawn in by Jesus’ incredible love.

What has your experience been with seeing the shifting of allegiance in those you are discipling? Share in the comments below or on the DMMs Frontier Missions Facebook group.

- C. Anderson

Original Post: https://www.dmmsfrontiermissions.com/jesus-followers-disciples-allegiance/

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