The Cost of Discipleship

Geoffrey Cox

READ : Daniel 10:1-12

I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food . . . (vv. 2-3, niv)

Walking with God cost Daniel a great deal in emotional, mental, and spiritual energy. His faithfulness to the Lord and disciplined devotion sometimes brought him into grave danger (remember the lions’ den?). Now he has been fasting and praying for weeks, and he is granted another vision that completely drains his strength (v. 8). To seek to draw closer to God will cost us something, and we need to prepare ourselves for that. We live in a sinful world and the forces of evil are always alert to attack and hinder us. Moreover, we will not make much progress in spiritual growth without practicing the classic spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, and fasting.

Study the lives of those in the Bible who tried to follow God, and you will find suffering in one form or another. The Holy Spirit teaches very clearly that our Father aims to make each of us holy, to make us reflections of Jesus, and Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8, niv). In Hebrews 12 we are told that God disciplines those he loves, training us to become like him in order to share in his holiness. So in your own sufferings look for what God is working on teaching you.

PRAYER

Lord, make me aware of what you aim to teach me from suffering.