Whereas professionalism & excellence at work is not incompatible with being a disciple of the Lord Jesus, it is very dangerous to become a professional disciple. A young man can be both a professional at work and remain a disciple but Lord, may I not be a professional disciple, as played out in this short video clip titled “The professional actor” by Damilola Mike-Bamiloye below.
Did you watch it? Please watch it first before you go ahead – it’s just about 10 mins.
Now, you’ve watched it right? You just saw a professional actor do his thing! Unfortunately for him, it didn’t turn out well for him. As I watched this clip over and over and over again, I keep seeing lots of lessons for my life as a disciple and deep issues of prayer, I decided to share a few with you. Now, it is possible that you might have a slightly different understanding of the various characters in the clip but permit me to stick to this (as I saw it) and share with you a few things we must take note of as growing disciples!
Who is a professional disciple?
A professional disciple is a disciple that has learnt so much about discipleship, maybe gone to school of disciples, attended discipleship classes or trainings (maybe even taught them); to the point that he now thinks he knows it so well. Now, he needs no suggestions from other fellow disciples (like the one ironing his dress), no input from his elders (the one sent to call him for the set, who later returned to ask him to go apologise), he won’t even listen to the Holy Spirit anymore (the one sent to counsel him & show him the way, that he grieved) and depending on how professional he may become, he will even argue with God, the director himself!
Hmm… And those who have being disciples for a while have the great tendency to be like Martins in that clip. Sometimes we think the more we grow in God, the less input we need from those around us. We tend to equate maturity to independence. We assume that as we grow, we would outgrow inputs from those the master himself has planted around us or worse still, outgrow the Holy Spirit himself – may I not be a professional disciple!
While the general theme and message of this clip speaks about humility in the life of a disciple, there were a few other salient points my brothers and I noticed as we watched the clip over & over…
1. Preparing for the set time.
There is a time frame that the director has set, during which he expects that I would be ready to go on set. My master has allocated a time, given me the script and sent me into the secret (in the room, not outside) to practice the script. In this time, I am to discover the script and interpret it for my life and my role in life. In this space of time, while I am in the wilderness, I must be deliberate about my training.
Lord, don’t let me miss my training in this time. Don’t let me waste my time of preparation.
When it is time, God sends for me. When the day of showing arrives, God sends for the disciple and expects that he is ready to go on set, on the stage. May we not be like Martins who said “God, give me 10 minutes”, “God, when I’m 40 years old”, “God first let me marry, it’s just ’10mins’, I’ll serve you”, “Lord just a few more years for me to get that promotion, it will even help you” etc. When God is ready & sends for us, may we be ready for him!
2. I have a role for you.
There is a role for every disciple in the purpose of God. No one is useless in God’s crew, some may be actors (visibly on stage), others may be behind the cameras, preparing the costumes, or carrying the mic, or setting the lights. As far as God is concerned, these are simply different roles. No role is senior to the other. When a Christian begins to feel that because he leads a fellowship/work or section of it, leads a group in the church, pastors a church or is in any way on the ‘stage’, then he is superior, more spiritual, better than others who are unseen behind the scene, this is the beginning of the problems!
May I be content with what the director has assigned me to do. Even if I am simply to pray for the brethren, or simply to go visit them or I have been asked to lead in any way, it is my present role… and roles are not necessarily permanent! Roles can change at the discretion of the director for the overall benefit of the film.
Yet, no matter how small I may be, there is a role for me to play in this that God is doing.
On the other hand, sometimes as a young growing disciple, you may look at yourself & wonder if God can ever use you for anything, seeing the calibre of elders & their lives and the kind of thing they do. Yes, for everyone that humbles himself and simply remains in God’s crew, there is a role for you, a unique one as that!
3. Following the Script succinctly.
A brother once asked me “If I’m a Christian, can I not just do good good things, anything that is not bad & evil and be okay? Must I be waiting & looking for some specific will of God?” This is something many Christians do not know! Many times we think God has only called us to not live & do bad things that can carry us to hell, we do not know that there is a specific script that has been written and that we must discover, interpret and ‘act’ accordingly. No matter how brilliant & good we may be, our evaluation will be based on how much of the script we followed. It will not be a factor of how good what you did is but how much of it is from your script. Or…
“What is the use of your talent when you can’t follow instructions” as written in God’s script for you?
Jesus said in Heb 10:7 that there is a volume of book that has been written concerning him, that he needed to fulfil and He called it “God’s will”. This is true for every disciple. I have not been called just to do anything, not even just any good thing, but to do God’s will. The director expects me to follow the script and not determine by myself when is the best time to do this and do that. Have you discovered what God wants you to do and you’re thinking “this is not realistic” or “I know when is the best time to do this, not now”; would you please humbly submit to God and simply follow the script? Our call as disciples is to discover, interpret and live according to God’s individual will for our lives, may the Lord help us in Jesus name.
Reflect and Pray
Hmm… Maybe let’s pause here and pray on these, we’ll highlight a few more next time. Do some reflection, how are you handling your preparation phase? How, as a young person are you paying attention to your training for your future? Are you dodging the experiences that God is sending your way or you’re allowing them to train you like it happened to Joseph? Are you winning in your training phase or don’t you know that whatever you didn’t get/win over in the secret, during your training will be your downfall when you arrive on the scene? Are you making an attempt to discover and follow God’s will for your life? Or are you just doing what seems best in your eyes?
It’s time to reflect and pray like I’ve been doing…
Read the next post here – The Professional Disciple (Part 2)