How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
How do you boil a frog? Put it in cold water and turn the temperature up slowly. He’ll get warm and cozy in there and eventually boil to death.
How do you become a disciple? Read your Bible, every word! And learn how to thump it once in awhile! Stand on a street corner and yell about fire and brimstone and tell everyone they’re going to hell if they don’t repent! A couple hears in Bible college wouldn’t hurt either.
Enh! Sound the buzzer. All of that is wrong.
First, hopefully you don’t eat an elephant at all. You do, however, learn how to manage large tasks by breaking them down into smaller pieces and doing one piece at a time. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu
Second, if you boil a frog, I don’t want to know about it. And some animal doctor said that as the water warms up, the frog would probably jump out of the pot anyway. Again, though, the message is the same…start small, build gradually, and eventually you will conquer the challenging task.
Finally, and this is the big one, not everyone is Billy Graham, and that’s okay. Contrary to what you may have heard, it does not take a pulpit – real or imagined – to share your story with others. People think when they are told to make “disciple-making disciples” and to BE a disciple, that they have to force Jesus down others’ throats. But that is false. REALLY false.
All you have to do is share. THAT is what disciples do, they share. They don’t preach, they don’t yell, they don’t force, they don’t condemn, they don’t badger, they don’t judge, they just…share.
They share their story by chatting over coffee; they share their journey by how they behave now, which is different than how they behaved before; they reflect their growth by what they say and how they say it, by what they do…and by what they don’t do anymore. They speak for others by speaking (praying) to Jesus on their behalf.
They talk the talk with respect, and they walk the walk with pride.
But disciples are not perfect. There will be issues and icky moments. So they speak softly but carry that big stick to smack the enemy upside the head because he will attack.
Disciples fall down. Disciples face challenges. The enemy persistently pokes and pushes and prods and prowls and perseveres. Always.
1 PET 5:8 “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
But, there is hope because even in the face of adversity, we are not alone. Our strongest resource is remembering that we are not alone.
EPH 6:11-14 “…be strong in the Lord…Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…stand firm.” This doesn’t say if evil comes, it says when. The enemy comes. Often. But we have the strongest ally, we just have to remember that. And when is He with us?
MATT 28:20 “And surely I am with you always.” Not sometimes, not once a week, not on the third Tuesday of the sixth month after the summer solstice, but always.
And that’s no small thing.
Zig Ziglar said: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” So start! Start with that one step, whatever it might be, however small it may feel. One step, even if it’s small, is one more step than was made before, right?
What kind of challenge have you faced or overcome? What opportunities have you had to share your story with somebody? How did it go over?