Deep Commitment Matters
Achieving significant impact is not about what happens in the short game. Lasting impact happens over long periods of time with deep commitment. It has been said that good habits take years to develop and then must be maintained. The same can be said for spiritual growth in your life or in the life of someone you are discipling.
Jesus invested in his followers continually over three years. We do not get to see into very many of those days, but what we can gather from reading the gospels is that their relationships were rich. As his disciples, Jesus’ followers were committed to him and he certainly was to them, sacrificing his life for them (and us) in the end.
Before I go any further, let me be crystal clear. Spiritual impact in our life and the lives around us is something God brings about. Though he often allows us to be involved, life change is a “God thing.” He begins the work and then continues it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6). Do not sweat the details here. Rest in him. He is faithful to complete his work in you.
Be a “Long Haul” Person
What does the “long haul” look like? It looks like a lifetime of commitment to God’s kingdom. “Seek first the kingdom of God and everything else you need will be given to you” (Matt 6:33 my paraphrase) We should all be about kingdom work, wherever we are and whatever we are doing. It’s not something that only pastors and missionaries do. Jesus needs us to represent him everywhere and to everyone. This isn’t just about telling people that they need Jesus. It’s about living life as Jesus did – loving others the way he loves us. Words about Jesus are good but acting like Jesus speaks louder than words. Someone who is truly hurting needs more than just words about a loving God, they need to be loved by God’s people.
Be a “long haul” person for Jesus. Maybe that means you go to some other country for years to meet the needs you find there, or maybe it means that you care for hurting people in your own city. Where you are makes no difference. Who you are, and whose you are, makes all the difference in the world.