Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple. (Luke 14:33)
A disciple is a fancy term for a pupil - one who is in a place of learning. We can all admit we are disciples - in some place of learning as we go through this life. Jesus' main purpose was to help the disciples to learn what it meant to have the Kingdom of God in their midst - the presence of God dwelling among them. Isn't this the purpose of all our tests and trials - to get us to the place we understand we have the presence of God within us at all times? A disciple doesn't concern themselves with the "what can I do" mentality in life. Instead, they make the shift from the "what can I do" to the "what will Jesus do in and through me" if I yield to him right now.
What a disciple does well is to bring God into the picture. The disciples who traveled with Christ day after day had a purpose - they went ahead to get a place ready, to find the meals, and to prepare a meeting spot. They were preparing the way for God to be "brought into the picture" for those out ahead of them. Maybe we have a real fear of the adventure. All of life is an adventure, but not all in life are adventurers! Adventurers are willing to get out of their comfort zone and enter a new realm. An adventurer is always looking for the possibilities. They don't limit themselves by the impossible but are always looking for a way around, through, or over the impossible. I think God honors that kind of heart in each of his disciples - willing to move beyond the impossible into the realm of possibility.
Disciples don't always have an explanation for what it is they learn at the feet of the Teacher. There are some things of God's grace, wisdom, and majesty we can reflect, but will never fully understand. Sometimes this is all God asks of his disciples - the willingness to reflect him, even when we don't understand all we are reflecting. It is the things we sometimes don't understand which have the greatest impact in the lives of those touched by them. God is busy behind the scenes creating things greater than we will ever be able to take credit for - simply because he is using us to bring him into the picture of those within our circle.
A disciple allows a shift of priorities to occur so what once consumed so much focus begins to be abandoned - laid aside - for the magnificence of what Christ does when he is brought into our present. Abandonment is kind of a scary concept. It means the leaving of something we often consider to be quite secure and comfortable in order to embrace something with seemingly less comfort, and therefore, the perception of it also being less secure. All the Teacher asks of the disciple is to be willing to abandon themselves - knowing the control is best left in his hands. Sure, the disciple is asked to participate in the revelation of the Teacher. We do this best when we reflect his actions - things like grace, purpose, and love. What we have the power of bringing into the midst of any situation is the connection of the pupil with the Teacher - to open the way for God to come on the scene. Maybe if we'd abandon ourselves to this purpose today, we'd see what God will reveal when we do! Just sayin!