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I’ve been a guitar player for 21 years. In that time I’ve hung around more musicians than I can remember. One particular type of guitarist was surprisingly common.
They had a guitar, maybe two. They noodled around from time to time. They knew a handful of chords. Every now and then they’d get a group of friends together with the idea they might form a band. Oh, they also had great rockstar hair and a few key pieces of rockstar wardrobe.
What the didn’t do was practice. They didn’t get lessons. They didn’t learn their scales and modes and music theory. They rapidly ran out of people to jam with as other musicians who took their instrument seriously outpaced them.
In the end they were dressed like a guitarist. They owned a guitar. They could even plunk out some songs. But they never experienced the visceral joy of performing with a great band on stage, or writing an original song that moved someone’s heart. The music never became a part of them.
They looked like a musician. They had an intention to be a musician, but they never made the difficult decision to let this intention shape their lives. The first commitment of an apprentice of Jesus is to make this very decision.
Jesus calls us to be more than believers. He calls us to be apprentices. Apprentices are students of living.
They commit themselves to a master in order to learn that master’s practical knowledge and way of life. As Jesus’ apprentices our lives are transformed and we become a part of God’s gracious plan to restore the world.
We learn how to be with Jesus in our daily lives, so we can learn from Jesus how to live.
Your apprenticeship starts with a decision. This is the 1st commitment of an apprentice. This is not the famous decision of accepting Jesus as your Savior that once and for all gets you into heaven. This decision has practical impact. You decide if Jesus is worth learning from.
That may sound strange. Evangelical Christians have been taught to trust Jesus for their salvation, that somehow Jesus crosses the gap between us and God. We can trust Jesus for forgiveness, maybe even for healing, but many people don’t trust that Jesus knows what He’s talking about when it comes to living life.
Do you have a Bifurcated Heart?
Most of us live our lives with a wall of separation in our hearts. On one side we keep our spiritual lives. This includes whatever spiritual ideas we are committed to. Things like our belief that Jesus is God, and that He can save us from our sin and offer us eternal life. Then there’s a big wall with no door or windows.
On the other side of this wall are all the beliefs and commitments that practically run our lives. Here we keep our personal standards of how to conduct relationships, how to manage our financial affairs, how to practice our career, what we’re entitled to, who deserves our service.
The big wall keeps these two domains separate. With this arrangement, Jesus never gets a chance to shape our practical daily lives.
We open a doorway in that wall when we make a single choice. We make it once, when we decide to follow Jesus. Then we make it again and again. We make it every morning when the new day starts. We make it when we find ourselves in the middle of complicated and painful circumstances.
What is that decision?
Will I be taught by Jesus today?
The critical decision that starts our apprenticeship is this: Will I be taught by Jesus today?
You’ve undoubtedly heard that you should trust Jesus. That’s common language in the church today. But have you ever considered what that means? If you trust someone, you are willing to listen to their input and take their advice. If you trust someone who is an expert in their field, you often act on their guidance without further research.
So what do you trust Jesus for? If you trust Jesus to get you to heaven, but not to guide your daily life, what does that say about who you think Jesus is? If you’ve decided Jesus is “your Lord,” (another common church phrase), do you trust that the one you’ve invited to lead you knows what He’s talking about outside of the spiritual realm?
If you haven’t been growing spiritually, maybe it’s because you haven’t trusted that Jesus knows what he’s talking about. Tweet That If your spiritual life is more of a drudgery than an adventure, maybe you’ve not been letting Jesus impact the way you live the rest of your life.
If you’re ready to learn from Jesus how to live, you have to start by deciding that you will learn from Him. You’ll make this decision more than once. But this is the beginning.
In coming posts we’ll talk about the remaining 6 commitments and how we actually go about learning from Jesus how to live. But this is the gateway.
Starting today, ask yourself this: “Will I be taught by Jesus today?”