The first primary devotion a disciple must cultivate is the devotion to the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is of utmost importance for anyone to become like Jesus. Jesus’ call to discipleship is “Follow Me…” and not follow my programmes or my works or anything of Mine. It is of necessity to note this at the onset of the discipleship process. Since discipleship involves life transfer from the Master to the follower, it does not take place in a loose relationship.
Discipleship does not only focus on learning Christ’s acts or skills, it involves primarily learning His life, cultivating His mind and learning His character. It involves “being with Him” in order to learn of Him. And this kind of learning cannot be done afar off from the Lord; it is being with Him in order for the purpose of discipleship to be accomplished.
Discipleship means followership. In our own context, it means following Jesus and learning of Him in order to be like Him. A disciple is a follower of Christ who follows Him very intimately and is yoked to Him in order to learn of Him and become like Him. It involves personal commitment in every way. A yoke is not a loose relationship. Looking at how the disciples of old were made, life transfer takes time. It takes a consistently close relationship for life transfer to take place.
Jesus called those disciples so that they should be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, heal and cast out devils. Being with Him was the priority. It was as they were with Him that they could be sent from Him and by Him to do any assignment for Him. So discipleship involves leaving all others in order to be devoted to the Lord and to whatever He tells you to do even when it is not convenient, being persuaded that God never fails.
The first devotion of the disciples of old was to the Lord. It was the Lord they responded to; it was the Lord they followed and with Him they spent their lives and time. It was a result of their devotion and loyalty to the Lord that they went ahead to leave all in order to follow Him. Nothing was too dear to them to forgo in order to follow Him. Even their lives were not too dear to them to lay down for the name of the Lord. As a result of their devotion to the Lord, they were willing to do whatever He told them to do even if it would cost them their very lives. That was devotion indeed.
To devote oneself to the Lord therefore is not by word. It starts from the heart, it involves personal valuation of the Lord as the treasure above all others as we see it demonstrated in the disciples of old. Whenever this kind of valuation happens to anyone, it will not be difficult to leave all and follow the Lord.
Devotion is not a lazy or thoughtless man’s attitude. To be devoted to somebody or something will take the whole of your heart, your soul, your strength and your mind. It however depends on your valuation. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Is the Lord a treasure to you above all others? Or is He just one of the treasures of your heart? This is what will determine your devotion to the Lord.
Paul counted all things, including those that were gain to him as rubbish, compared to the priceless privilege, the overwhelming preciousness and the supreme advantage of gaining Christ. No wonder he was so devoted to the Lord that he did not count even his life dear to him as far as obeying God is concerned. Examine your heart. Are you really devoted to the Lord?
Serving God only at our own convenience and in the way we like, is an indication of lack of devotion to Him. Laziness in praying and fasting is also a strong indication of lack of devotion to the Lord. Could that not be the reason why you are not getting the kind of results that the disciples of old got in their walk with the Lord? These are the devotions that bring revival, and make one to experience God. Examine your heart again. Are you really devoted to the Lord?