My main role in life, for example, is teaching in a university.
How would He design a course, and why? How would He compose a test, administer it, and grade it? What would His research projects be, and why? Discipleship involves doing everything as if Jesus were doing it. Through this process we learn things we never thought about. Discipleship focuses on the inner self, which consists of our ideas, beliefs, and emotions. Character grows out of our inner lives, and it governs what we think and feel. As our character is transformed, our behavior is transformed as well.
Living as an Apprentice to the Master
Our character, for example, may not be to love our enemies. But the character of God is to love them. The point of training yourself by practicing certain habits is to renew the inner person and to make the tree inwardly good. The mind and feelings are transformed through a process of training—which is where the spiritual disciplines come in.
They teach us an inner posture of not having to have our way, which relieves us of one of our greatest burdens.
Solitude, for example, is a wrenching experience for most people. Solitude is difficult because it exposes the illusion of our self-importance.
It can be terribly threatening to be silent, or to not have the last word in a conversation. Solitude and silence are means of being with God. They form a context for listening and speaking to Him. God will not compete for our attention. God waits us out. Having chosen whom we will serve, and with whom we will train, we become like our Master by living with him in his home the kingdom of God , doing as he does praying, studying, serving , in the manner in which he does it patiently, unhurriedly, lovingly. Jesus said that his followers would do greater things than he John What makes that possible is daily apprenticing under Jesus, becoming experts in Kingdom living, like our Master.
The activity is apprenticing The old apprentice system of vocational training shows how this works. Christians apprentice to our Master Jesus It is the same for us. What kind of person is God? God is holy. God is wholly good. God loves me.
Living as an Apprentice to the Master | The Navigators
God wants to spend time with me. Second, I am learning to conduct the usual activities of life—in home, school, community, business and government—in the character and power of Christ. Jesus could have led the ordinary life of the ordinary citizen in all of its legitimate respects. He can show us how to live now, as a mother or father, banker or computer programmer, teacher or artist, in the Kingdom of the Heavens.
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His character and power and personal guidance will lead us into life as it should be in all of these areas of human existence. Third, I am learning to exercise the power of the kingdom—of Christ in his Word and Spirit—to minister good and defeat evil in all of the connections of earthly existence.
From the Back Cover
Christ had no character problems, but we do. Prayer, in its aspect of training for Kingdom life, is primarily a matter of learning to exercise power in a way that is both profitable and safe.
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The fruit of the Spirit thoroughly Christlike character flourishes only in a context of regular communal manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit. He acted with the Kingdom wherever he was. Our intention as apprentices of Jesus is to become the kind of person who lives in the character and power of Christ. We must, then, do those things that will enable us to become that kind of person, from the inside out—through appropriate actions and practices.
How Does the Disciple Live?
They include such practices as solitude, silence, fasting, study, worship, fellowship, prayer, etc. There is no complete list of such practices, though some are more well-known and widely practiced than others, because they are more central to breaking the power of indwelling sin and increasingly filling our life with grace. But by a wise practice of disciplines in the presence of Christ, we can become people who will routinely and easily do so. In disciplines we need to be informed and experimental.
They are not righteousness, but wisdom.