Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat 11:28-30)
When Jesus calls a person to follow Him, He is asking that person to live a life of self-denial, which is not easy to do within our own human nature. And so, when He says "follow me" and "learn of me," it is not what we think it is. It is not just about going to church and singing about Him. Most people tend to think that it is a walk of bliss and prosperity, which it is, at times. But, there are times you will walk in dark places to learn the ways of God.
Being discipled by Jesus is a process. Just because someone has been filled with the Holy Ghost, does not mean they are discipled. We must sit at his feet and learn of Him and how He works. We can not be so busy doing the "work of the Kingdom," that we forget to spend time with God. Jesus said, "without me, you can do nothing."
After we have repented of our sins, been water baptized and have been filled with the Holy Ghost, God allows us to enjoy His un-interrupted presence for a season. Then He will reveal His promises to us. And if we are open to it, He'll even tell us what we are going to do in His Kingdom.
When this time period is over, it sometimes will feel like God has withdrawn from us or we may even feel like we have backslid. However... DO NOT PANIC! He hasn't left us, He is going to begin a work in us and teach us how to resist the devil, the world and our own fleshly desires. This time period is often referred to as a "wilderness." This period is to work things out of us that are carnal and destructive to us, but as well, to work in fruits of the spirit, wisdom and understanding.
JESUS WALKS WITH US
We sometimes read the Bible and try to picture how Jesus walked with his disciples. Most of the time we can understand, but other times it seems so distance to us. You have to understand, that Jesus did walk with men that were just like us! Yes, the apostles are dead and gone and the time period in which they lived is long gone. But, Jesus is not dead; His flesh is not with us anymore, but His Spirit is with us NOW!
Therefore, because He is still alive and among us now, we need to open our spirit to Him and allow Him to call to us. He can disciple us just like He did the 12 disciples. That means, we can communicate with Jesus just like the disciples! We can see and learn by watching what He does!
A CALL TO SIT
When Jesus called the twelve disciples, they didn't go right out and win the world for Jesus. They had to be taught for 3½ years under the complete teachings of Jesus. They had to be around Jesus continually. They were taught how to be fishers of men and were influenced by his presence and how He operated in the will of God.
If we are sensitive to the voice of Jesus, we to can hear him say, "learn of me." This call to sit at His feet is a voice very small and gentle. This call is an invitation to learn some of the deepest and most powerful things you can know of God. Jesus doesn't just reveal some things to just anybody. He has to know that we can be trusted with what He gives us. He will not force himself on us. If we want to do our own thing, we can, and He will let us do it.
Sometimes we are so busy doing the work of God we cannot hear Him. Some of us want to do great things for him, which is very good. But, God works much different than we think. Just because we read and learn the Bible, does not mean we know how to operate in the realm of the Spirit. The Kingdom of God is a Spiritual kingdom. We need to know the Word and operate in the Word. Therefore to be able to operate in the "Spirit", we have to understand how the Spirit moves and operates.
SPEND TIME WITH HIM
One of the hardest things for us to do is spend time with Jesus. We have our busy schedules and our own plans that keep us from Him sometimes. If God really wants our attention, He has ways of getting us to seek him. But He would rather we come to him and sit at His feet willingly.
How do we sit at His feet? Easy, just take some time each day studying, meditating and praying. But the most important thing we can do while we are spending time with Him is to just listen spiritually to what is happening in the realm of the Spirit. Not all communication with God is "talking." There must be times in your prayers that you do nothing but listen and feel for him in the Spirit.
Ther are some attitudes we need in perfecting this type of communion. They are soberness, sensitivity and humility. The greatest hindrance to sitting at His feet is our own plan and desires. That's why we must be sensitive to Jesus and obey him, because we need to do what he wants and not what we want.
To know the heartbeat of Jesus will take some time. We may spend some lonely days by ourselves, but we will learn things that will astonish our minds. Jesus said, "my yoke is easy." We are the ones who make it heavy, but He wants us to fellowship with him out of love and desire for Him.
BENDING WITH THE WIND
A person that wants to know the heartbeat of God, must perfect a sensitive ear to His desires. For this type of relationship to develop, a person must go through tests and trials. God allows trials so we can bend with the wind (storms). Whenever a storm blows hard, the trees will either bend or break. The tree that has deep roots will survive even the worst of storms. These types of storms perfect our relationship with God. For when the storms come, we learn to be led by Him. And as we bend and trust God, we learn to do and work His will.
Self-denial seems to be the hardest thing for anyone to do. It goes against our desires and will. Self-denial is the perfect ingredient to a happy life in God. After all, when someone repents and finds God for the first time, they say, "I surrender all to you Jesus!", which they do for a while. But, after a while they want control again.
Jesus is not out to make our life miserable, but abundant! So, why does He want self-denial? The answer is simple! If we controlled our life, we would mess it up! Isn't that why we came to God in the first place?! Self-denial molds us into the image of Christ... for He even denied his own desires! Jesus also asks for self-denial because, it keeps us out of the way. It sharpens our desire to know Him greater. Simply put, it helps us do His will, His way.
DOING GOD'S WILL
Jesus made this statement, "What I see the Father do, I do likewise." Jesus prayed and kept his will out of the way, so He could hear what the Spirit (Father) wanted to do. Then, He could obey and do the will and work of God. Jesus did not operate his own will, but the Fathers! God will use us if we are obedient to "HIS" plan.
Being used of God should be every person's desire, but one must understand that there has to be a time period of "sitting" and "learning" of Him. After all, He knows what He wants to do more than we. Learning how Jesus operates is the greatness wisdom, joy and pleasure anyone could ever know.