CHALLENGES IN LIVING
TOGETHER AS COMMUNITY
Choose Discipleship or Total Surrender?
Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone
would come after me, let him deny
himself and take up his cross and
Around 30 years ago a friend told me what his dad
said to him about following Jesus: he either
follows Jesus completely or not follow Him at all.
This struck me deeply – because it also applies to
all of us. Sometimes we treat discipleship to
Jesus as having many options – we can pick and
choose what we want to do or not do. If it is too
hard, then we compromise or sugar-coat things.
Jesus made it very clear that He decides the terms
of discipleship, not us. Why? He knows what is
best for us.
- Matthew 16:24 ESV
Pick and choose discipleship does not work! Living
a double life makes us lose our personal
integrity. Being lukewarm Christians prevent us
from growing in maturity in Christ. So are you
ready to confront yourself – are you ready to
follow Jesus completely, or do not follow Him at
all? I’m afraid those are the real choices you
So How Do You Live a
Life Truly Surrendered to God?
Other Scripture passages:
- When you decided to follow Jesus, do you
have any “ifs” and “buts”? If you have them,
know that you are the one determining the
terms of you following Jesus, and it will not
work. You are not really following Jesus on
His terms. In the Scripture, Jesus denied
knowing people who called Him “Lord” but were
evildoers. Discipleship with ifs and buts is
an exercise of futility.
- Do you live a double life? Do you behave one
way at your school, university or workplace
and another way with your brothers and
sisters? If yes, you need to admit it and
resolve to change. You are the only one who
knows this – and can make changes. Ask for
pastoral wisdom with a brother or a sister
close to you.
- We all have both strengths and weaknesses,
and each one of us are different. All of us
have particular weaknesses that we struggle
with. To some of us, the battle with some of
our particular weaknesses may last a lifetime.
We need patience with ourselves as we continue
to surrender our lives to God.
- Ask yourself: are there areas in your
Christian walk that you are lukewarm with? Do
the words that come out of your mouth pleasing
to God? Is there any area in your life you
compromise with the world and the flesh? Do
you justify or sugar-coat things so they look
acceptable to you and to others?
- Is your life on fire for God? Are you
wanting to see God’s will be done and His
Kingdom come - daily? Are you faithful to
daily commitments to pray and read God’s word?
Are you willing to die for your faith?
- Lastly, are you wanting all your families
and friends to follow Jesus too? Are you
praying for their conversion? Are you the
living Word of God, the fifth gospel walking
around wherever you may be?
I have been crucified with Christ. It is
no longer I who live, but Christ who lives
in me. And the life I now live in the
flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
[Galatians 2:20 ESV translation]
- But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you
will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
[Galatians 5:16 ESV]
- I know your works: you are neither cold
nor hot. Would that you were either cold or
hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and
neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of
my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have
prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing
that you are wretched, pitiable, poor,
blind, and naked. [Revelation 3:15-17
references: Matthew 10:37-39; Matthew 22:37;
Galatians 5:19-23; and Philippians 3:7-11.
For personal reflection or
there areas in your life you are not
surrendering to God? What are your personal
you patient with yourself as God is patient
Tom Caballes is the National
Senior Administrator and a National
Coordinator of the Lamb
God, a community of the Sword of
the Spirit with 7 branches located
throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads
Zealand, an outreach program for
high school, university, and
post-university aged people.
Tom and his wife Mhel and
their two daughters live in
Wellington, New Zealand.