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Vision-Driven Discipleship
Stats: 7,401 words / Reading Time: 37.01 mins

Published: Friday 27th March 2020

Vision-Driven Discipleship is read 782 times on CentreNDL.org 782

Vision-Driven Discipleship

How Far You SEE, How Far You FOLLOW, How Far You GO!

Today we want to look at something that is very important to each and every one of us. If you are here, you need it, if you are not here, you also need it. Everybody requires it; because the truth is we all have a shadow of it, of what we want to consider today. And so, when you have a shadow, you must never lose touch of what the reality is. You know, when you hear type and shadow, shadow is always going ahead of the reality. So, when you embrace the shadow, you isolate yourself from the truth or from the reality, then you are shortchanging yourself. You will be missing a great deal. So, we want to consider tonight; Vision-driven Discipleship. And that is why I said everyone has it. We all have a capacity to see, but we see in different degrees and our scope of vision differs as we differ as individuals.

 

Listen To Podcast: VISION-DRIVEN DISCIPLESHIP: HOW FAR CAN YOU SEE, FOLLOW AND GO?

 

So, we are considering today Vision-driven Discipleship, and under it we want to examine How Far You See, How Far You Follow, How Far You Go. and we are considering all these under Vision-driven Discipleship. I want us to go to the book of Proverbs 29:18. The Bible says

 

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law.

 

Now, when the Bible use the word "The people", that includes you and I. Nobody is excused. In the absence of vision, there is a casting off of restraints. In fact, another version says when there is no vision, the people run wide. I am sure we know that nobody loves to stay around anything that is wild. We don't love to stay around a wild animal and so, you don't want to even stay around a wild people or a wild generation. The people who are running wild are doing so because there is a missing vision in their lives. There is something that is missing and the Bible says revelation of the will of God for their lives. And so, when a purpose is not knows, abuse is inevitable. A man, a woman who does not know the purpose of his or her life will actually abuse that life unknowingly. And so, when there is a prevalence of ignorance among a people, whether they are a people of God or a people of the world, what happens is that the same people run wild.

 

Some of us are curious and ask: why is it that people do things that are unfitting, things that are abnormal? We are actually curious. But the people doing it don't struggle to do it because there is something missing in them that has created a kind of wildness in them. What has been putting some check, some control in their lives is missing and so, they do anything, and so anything goes. A life where anything goes is a life that is missing in vision. There is something that life is not seen, that if only that life can be confronted with it, there will be order with such life. So, when we find disorder in any life; we quickly conclude that such a life does not have a vision, such a life does not see very far. You know we are looking at how far can you see or do you see, how far can you follow or how far do you follow and how far can you go. Everyone of us here wants to go very far in life. Now, how far you can go is a function of how far you can follow. What is it that you are following and guiding you. If you are following nothing, then you cannot go very far. But if you can go far following, then you can be sure that it is because you are actually seen something and that thing is very far.

 

So, if your vision is far, then you can follow far. If you can follow far, you can go very far. Do we understand that? That clearly shows us that discipleship, true discipleship must actually rests on your vision as a person. Your effectiveness as a disciple is to the degree or to the size or proportion of your vision. If in discipleship you see nothing, then you will follow nothing. If you follow nothing, then you will go to nothing, you will go to nowhere. I am sure you have seen certain people that they call "No future ambition." That is clearly stating that they are following nothing and nobody. There is a place in Isaiah when the Bible was describing the Holy Way. It says even when a fool walks on the way; he will be wise.

 

I am sure that we are aware of it that once a way is defined, irrespective of who is on that way; there is a definite destination. As long as a way is known, as long as a way is defined, if you can come into the way, there is a destination ahead of you. Now, if I want to jump a little bit, Jesus said to His disciples; where I am going you know and the way you know. And Thomas said "we do not know where you are going, how can we know the way?" So, the point is if only they can know the way, they can have idea of where He is going to. So, the way shows the picture or it describes the destination. There must be something that you are following, something you are following day by day. If that thing is defined, then your future is not in doubt.

 

Let us check something else in that Proverbs 29 that we read, verse 21 to buttress something about that point. Bible says:

 

He who pampers his servant from childhood
Will have him as a son in the end.

 

So, the beginning of that person that is being pampered is that he is a servant. A man or a woman comes into your family, and the first role that you put on such a person is that he is or she is a servant. That is the starting point. It is like somebody who wants to embark on a journey and he is starting on the first path of the road. You are not yet there, but you have actually joined the way. And let us consider the word "pampering" in that passage to be like the way. "He who pampers his servant from childhood.." talking about the beginning, "will have him as a son in the end." So, if a servant is received as a child, but pampered, such a servant over time will become a son. So, he will arrive at the destination sonship even though he was a servant. What has actually been the bridge between his servant hood and his sonship? Pampering!

 

If that pampering is missing, then you will still continue to have a servant even at the end. Do we understand? So, it is important that there is something that conveys everyone from a point in life to another point in life. There is a man you want to become, there is a woman you want to become, yet, there is something or someone that you are now that is not yet the man or the woman that you see yourself becoming, there is something that is missing and if brought on board, will actually take you to your designation or designated end. Do we understand? In between who you are now and where you ought to be is something that is missing, and that is why nobody can currently relate with your future, they are still relating with you as your present. If that thing can be brought on board in your life, then the gap between your present and your future will be bridged.

 

And today, the Holy Spirit is showing us that very key in connecting us to our future is vision. if you have called yourself a disciple of Jesus Christ, if vision is missing in your own discipleship, even though you could spend ten years or more as a disciple, you will still not become. And we cited the example of a servant that is received as a child but pampered and then becomes a son. It is not automatic for a servant to become a son, something brought him into sonship, and we saw there "pampering." Another word for that is "cared for." You know it has been said that no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. So when that child is pampered over time, he becomes a son. When the pampering is missing, when the attention, the nurturing is missing; even though the servant spend fifty years in the house of his master, he will still remain a servant; although, a grown up servant. I want us to see an example in the book of Timothy with the life of Paul and Timothy.

 

"You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also"

2 Timothy 2:1-2

 

Now what happens to Timothy if his mentor or discipler says "Timothy, the things you have heard of me among many witnesses, commit it to faithful men." And Timothy is like "What was that sir that I heard from you, I can't remember anything." Please, what will Timothy have to commit to faithful men? Nothing! Now it means if Timothy had missed that responsibility of hearing, which is also a component in your vision, when you are expecting to be seen and hearing things, and you choose to be sleeping, when it is ripe or it is time to start teaching others, and you are asked to bring out what has been stored in you over time, and you have nothing to show, nothing to bring out, it is not the fault of your discipler, it is your own fault. What then is missing? Revelation! There is another place in that Timothy that we will read; 2 Timothy 3 from verse 10 downwards.

 

"But you have carefully (did we see that word?) followed my doctrine," Now, what does this assume? Ca you follow what you do not see? You know we began by showing us that there is something you must see for us to follow and then go to a place. So, seeing precedes following and following precedes getting to a destination. It says "But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured." So, when apsotle Paul was enduring, what was he doing; was he merrying? DO we see that? Apostle Paul was enduring things, he was suffering things and Timothy was observing them. He was seen them because the strength of his own discipleship is to the degree of what he could see.

 

So, your discipler is suffering and all you are seen is nothing. Then what do you follow? He says you have carefully followed. You have carefully followed because when I was going through things, you were careful in observing me. So, if you had missed that phase in your followership, in your discipleship, when it gets to a certain point that you are supposed to be practicing things, then you have little to draw from. One of the things that I noted here is that until you as a person have a clear and correct vision, you cannot successfully accomplish your discipleship. Your discipleship is at the mercy of your vision. I am sure you know what it is to be an apprentice. How much you can become in your latter time as a mechanic or plumber apprentice is a function of how much you can see your master do.

 

So if in your own apprenticeship you choose not to see, even though you could spend five years, ten years, at the end of everything, you will have little to draw from. I remember an example of a lady that I once heard about who does not really see the mother cook. She grew up without staying in the kitchen with the mother but always notice that every time the mother is cooking in the kitchen, she always hear the mother singing and clapping and all of that. And so, when she got married, she put the pot on the fire, put the ingredients together, not knowing what proportions of what and what she would put together; and so she started clapping. Will clap produce correct meal? No! It is what you have learnt, what you have observed, what you saw that you can reproduce. You cannot reproduce what you don't see.

 

So if you want to become a better woman, a better man, it is not going to be because you are fasting and praying, it is because you are seeing somebody demonstrates that state of being better. If you cannot see excellence, you cannot produce excellence. So inherent to the call to discipleship is the core to see. If you are being called to become a disciple, you are simply being called to come and see because if you can see, you can do. I want us to see a place in Matthew chapter 4 from verse 18-20.

 

"And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him."

 

“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” So, that process, that making process was actually the process of vision. “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" which means I will show you how to fish for men. So, if they had follow ed Him in those days, and they refused to see even though they had followed, they would never become fishers of men. They would only end up as fishers of fishes, because it is not time that produce disciple in you, you don't become a disciple simply because you spend time, it is not just time. If you have spent time and you are seeing nothing; then you will have nothing to replicate. Let us go to Matthew 19, there is something else about this story to follow up. Matthew 19:27-29.

 

"Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life."

 

They will inherit eternal life because the one that they have chosen to follow had eternal life. And He was ready to show them eternal life. So, they said we have left all, we have followed you. Meaning we have left all that we used to see, we have followed you that we may see you. Now that we have followed you, what shall we become? Another way we can put it is "What shall be our future?" Because following is never done on the same spot. You don't follow on a spot, you follow in a motion. So, there is no stagnation in discipleship. If you are following and your life is on a standstill, then you should check whom you are following and check what you are doing, because discipleship is on the go. It is towards a goal, towards an end.

 

We have left all that we used to see, things we used to learn we have left them. We have made you our focus and our vision, where you go we want to go, what you do is what we want to do, who you become is what we want to become. What shall be our destiny? What shall be our future? And Jesus said no one who has left this and that, who will not have something in the life to come and will also have eternal life. When you are busy playing when you are supposed to be seeing, it shows that you are lacking vision. In discipleship, it is not a time to merry and party. It is not a time to play around. If you are having so much time to waste it means you are having lesser things to see. You can't be busy seeing and then you are busy playing at the same time. Because your future does not require you playing but working, producing, commanding result. Then you have to be busy watching how something is done.

 

"And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” 66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

John 6:65-69

 

Don't forget we said that everything begins with seeing. And when you see, you follow. And then when you are following, you are going. So you are either going with the discipler or you are going away from the discipler. It is about going. It is either a progressive journey or a retrogressive journey, you are simply going. It is either you are going forward or you are going back, you are still going. It is not enough to say I just want my life to keep going, you must be definite to require that your life goes forward. Bible says they walk with Him no more. He said “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." You have it, and we need it. We must then simply walk with you to have it. You have the words of eternal life. No wonder when they say to them, "don't speak anything in the name of Jesus again." They replied them by saying "we cannot but speak of the things that we have both seeing and handled of the word of life." We cannot but speak it because we have seen it, we have handled it.

 

You have the words of eternal life, and that is why we have chosen to be part of you. We have chosen to walk with you, we have chosen to abandon all and to follow you. To whom shall we go. And see again in verse 69: "Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Is that not revelation? When there is no revelation what does the people do? They cast off restraints, they go wild. What happens to the disciples that went back? They began to run wide. So, from that moment, they made decisions to be uncontrollable, to live a life that was no more controlled. Why? Vision or revelation was lacking in their lives. They did not know, they did not believe that Jesus was the son of God. If they had known and believed, if they had that kind of revelation, they will remain with Him. Who wants to leave God? Nobody! But if you do not know that the person is attached to God, you cannot stay with such a person. So, everything is still tied to what you know, what you see, what you hear.

 

I want us to look at a story in 2 Kings Chapter 2. Now, we have been looking at the New Testament, let us see discipleship in the Old Testament. 2 Kings 2, I have the whole chapter to read but I will read a few of them.

 

"And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal." Elisha went with Elijah, they were on a journey and one was

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following the other. "Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here,.." Another word for that is be comfortable with status quo, stay here, be stagnant. Don't go with me, don't go forward, just stay here. "Please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.” Me I am on a journey, I am walking with God to Bethel. You stay here! But see a wise disciples' response. He says "But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they went down to Bethel." "Stay here!" "I will not stay here, I will follow you." You know, if the way is defined, then the destiny is not in doubt. So the Bible says they went together to Bethel.

 

"Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, (See this) “Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent!” In other words, I have revelation, I have vision, keep silent! I do not go wild, I know what I am doing. I know what I am seeing, I know what I want to see. I know whom I have chosen to follow, I know where we are going to, I know my end, it is not in doubt, it is in view. Then Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they came to Jericho.

 

Let us jump to verse 9.

 

"And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha..", haven seen the persistence in following because this is where the trouble usually arises really in following because true following requires seeing. You don't close your eyes and follow otherwise, you will fall into the ditch. Following demands your full attention and because it is demanding, people don't love to do it. He had followed so much that he has gotten to a point in his life that he must get to a destiny that has been prepared aforetime by God. Elijah said to him: “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” This is not like a disciple that is following because he wants to "chop chop", no! It is the discipler that was asking the disciple, ask! Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”

 

Some people might still say at this point, let me go and pray about it. What is happening? They lack vision and revelation. Why are you following somebody when you don't have a prepared "something" in your spirit about what you want to become. Some people would have told Elijah, give me three days, let me go and pray about it. And Elijah would have gone before he returns. Elisha was specific, and do you know why he was specific? Because he has been faithful in seeing. Let me show us. If he was not faithful in seen Elijah up till this moment, he wouldn't know what to demand from Elijah. You cannot ask from me what you do not know I can do. If you don't know me, you cannot ask me for anything because it will be like shooting closing your eyes. You can never be sure you have hit the target. So, if you must demand from my life, it must be because you see me, you know what I can do.

 

So, what Elisha did was to show that he has been faithful in seeing, he has been faithful in following, and so, he could now get to his destination.

 

“Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 10 So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.”

 

Did you see any emotion from the discipler? No! These things are matters of principles, not emotional things. Discipleship is not emotion and it is not emotional. It is principle-driven. You do this, you have this, you don't do this, you don't have this. No fight, what you have asked is a hard thing. It is not an evil or a bad thing, it require so much focus, so much vision from you. If you see me when I am taken from you, if you see me. I was listening to a message around this verse by Dr. Mensah Otabil sometime ago, and he said if Elisha were to be any of us, he would have missed it. Do you know why? He said he was asking if you were in Elisha shoes, and you have been seeing this man called Elijah for so long, you knew when he was hungry and when he was eaten and all of that; familiarity would have set in. And suddenly, a chariot of fire descended from heaven, he said most people will look at chariot and they will not look at that old man. When you are seen a great sight, you would want to abandon the old sight. And the man didn't say when you see the chariots, but when you see me go.

 

It takes discipline and much more than discipline. You are given to frivolities, you are given to sight and things that can distract and excite you, you will miss it. Your vision, your focus must be fixed on whom you are following. If you take your eyes off, you will sink like Peter. There is a place in John 5 that I want us to read about Jesus Christ as we begin to conclude. Because Jesus was on earth as a disciple of God the Father. John 5:19, it summarizes everything.

 

"Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son (the disciple) can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father (The discipler) do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. The Son can do nothing of Himself, whatever He sees the Father do, the same He do." So, as the Father is doing, the Son is doing. So the discipleship that exists between the Father and the son was the basis of the profitability and the fulfillment  of the ministry of Jesus on the earth. Everything He did was as He saw the Father do. There was a time He said "My judgment is true, as I hear, I judge." Hear from who? From the Discipler of course. So, you are a disciple who will do everything outside of what the discipler is doing; or outside what the discipler is saying to you. You will never do what the discipler is doing.

 

Jesus said the works that I do, you will do and greater works than this you will do because I go to the Father. And when I go, I will send to you the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is coming into you as your discipler, as you see Him do, you will do. You will do everything outside of the Holy Spirit and yet, you still want to do the will of God and please God. It cannot happen. At a point, James and John wanted to call down fire. They didn't ask Jesus whether He wanted fire to come down at the time. And Jesus said "No, you do not know the manner of Spirit that you are of." You do not know the manner of discipler that is discipling you. You cannot do what your discipler does not want. So, a disciple who is seeing nothing even though he is tarrying around Father or the discipler will do nothing.

 

Now, that place we read earlier about Jesus and his disciples when Jesus said where I am going you know, the way you know. And they said we do know where you are going, how can we know the way? And Jesus said "I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life." Again, He said another thing around it in the same chapter. Because they asked Him: Show us the Father and it will be sufficient for us. He said "have I been around you for this long and you are still asking me; show us the Father? That was what Jesus said. So, it is possible for a disciple to be with a discipler and still be ignorant of who the discipler is. Because if you don't see the discipler, you cannot like the discipler and your becoming is resting on what you see. Elijah said to Elisha "If you see me go, then what you are asking will be yours."

 

Immediately if we read that 2 Kings again, you will see that as soon as he saw his father, he said "My father, My father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof." he cried out and then, he took the mantle. And when he got to the Jordan river, he parted the Jordan river just as his master did when they were coming. The master took him through places. Do you know, this is where everything gets complicated. When he was following Elijah, assuming he was partying and merrying; and he was playing around, he would have died there. He won't have returned. Because they crossed a big river before they got there. The river parted for them. So, the question is if he was playing up and down, and it was time to now cross it back, will he swim a big river?

 

So, he did it just like Elijah did it. He said "Where is the God of Elijah." And when the sons of the prophet, his colleagues and mates saw him do that miracle, they ran to him quickly and bow before him. They used to bow to Elijah and not to him. But as soon as he began to produce the kind of results his discipler was producing, the honor, the dignity, the authority of his discipler came upon him. The people that used to respect his discipler started respecting him. That is it. If you are able to live the kind of life that Jesus lived on the earth, demons that cannot stand Christ will not stand you. No wonder they told the seven sons of Sceva, they said "Jesus we know, Paul his disciple we know, who are you?" There is no link. You have never followed Him, you did not even see Him do miracle. Do we understand?

 

If you can follow your discipler, you will command the same result. The people that respect your discipler will respect you. The forces of darkness that fear your discipler, they will fear you. And I pray that God's grace will be multiplied unto us in Jesus' name. If you see well in discipleship, people will see you clearly in dominion because your discipleship must translate into your authority on the earth. If you are not graduating into authority, you should check how you are seeing.

 

Amen!


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Gboyega Adedeji!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony with me in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.



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A calling is for your INFORMATION, it is discipleship that produces your TRANSFORMATION.


Published: Gboyega Adedeji | Friday 27th September 2019


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A calling is for your INFORMATION, it is discipleship that
  A calling is for your INFORMATION, it is discipleship that
  A calling is for your INFORMATION, it is discipleship that
  A calling is for your INFORMATION, it is discipleship that
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