I was recently praying for a worship session, asking if the Lord had anything specific for our time as a community. We often do this, that is, take time to pray and ask if God wants to direct our corporate worship times.
This particular time we felt as though He was leading us towards Psalm 23. My first reaction: "I know Psalm 23, I've read this and heard it taught on a thousand times."
It's like when I was young and went into a church service and could guess what was coming next. That the next answer to the pastors question will be "Jesus" and I will leave saying "I know, because I've heard it before".
I grew up in church, went to a Christian school, was part of youth group, had Christian friends and knew all the right answers. Interestingly, it wasn't until much later that I found out Jesus didn't care about my right answers.
I invite you to put yourself back into your old 9th grade self. For me that was coming out of a private elementary school of 400, with a class size of 25 and entering a world that I didn't know anything about. My high school 9th grade class size was just around 800 and my high school had a bigger population than many of the towns here in Australia :)
Other than culture shock, my answers to life questions such as "Where do you go when you die?" and "Why do you believe in God?" got tested. A normal answer in Sunday school didn't cut it in this world I had just stepped into.
As I wandered the huge halls (our schools are all inside, picture something like an inside mall) I saw things that I didn't see in my previous little world of a small Christian school.
Things like, different clothing (there are no uniforms in public schools), lots of colourful language, drugs being dealt in school and bathrooms full of cigarette smoke.
Being an introvert and (at the time) being petrified of girls, I did what any introvert would do. Retreat. I found comfort and ran to it, knowing that it's easier to be comfortable without people, than it is to be uncomfortable with people around.
Obviously I have come a very long ways since that time and some of my closest friends are girls, who knew girls aren't that scary after all! Also, God taught me a very important lesson. As my relationship with people grew, my relationship with God grew as well.
Vulnerability and depth are key when establishing any relationship and this is no different when it comes to God.
The actual word for disciple means a couple things. First, to be a follower of Christ. But in Greek, it means to be a learner. To be in a constant state of learning. To go deeper and farther than what you thought possible. During this worship time God was challenging me to go deeper in His Word. He wanted to reveal things about Scripture that I hadn't yet realized and give me a new perspective on what I was reading.
There's a depth in what God says that we haven't even come close to knowing yet. This allows us to be excited about life as we never really know what's coming next or what God is going to say. It's always an adventure and God is always wanting to reveal more!
My challenge to myself and the reader: Allow God to take you deeper than you ever thought possible, don't allow yourself to say "I know this". Always remember that God has more and allow that to propel you further into relationship with Him!
Jason LaLone is on staff at YWAM Brisbane. He is passionate about discipleship, taking Jesus's command to make disciples of all nations as a practical reality that he can live on a daily basis. He loves lasagna, cats and use to dislike Monday's, making him most like Garfield.
Jason LaLone's previous articles might be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jason-lalone.html