A disciple is one in whom the Holy Spirit has forged this realization: “I am not my own.” To say “I am not my own” is to have reached a point of great spiritual nobility. If I am a disciple, I make a sovereign decision to give myself over to Jesus Christ. Then the Holy Spirit comes in to teach me his nature. He teaches me this not so that I’ll hold myself apart from others, like a showroom exhibit of holiness, but in order to make me one with my Lord. Until I am made one with him, he won’t send me out. Jesus Christ waited until after the resurrection to send his disciples to preach the gospel, because only then did the power of the Holy Spirit come upon them, enabling them to perceive who Jesus Christ was and to become one with him.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children . . . such a person cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). Jesus doesn’t say, “Such a person cannot be a good and moral individual.” He says, “Such a person cannot be one over whom I write the word mine.” Any of the relationships Jesus mentions may be a competitive relationship. I may prefer to belong to my father or my mother, to my spouse or to myself. If I do, Jesus says I cannot be his disciple. This doesn’t mean I won’t be saved; it simply means I won’t be his.

“You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). Our Lord makes his disciples his own possessions. He becomes responsible for them. The spirit the disciple receives isn’t the spirit of hard work or of doing practical things for Jesus. It’s the spirit of love and devotion, of being a perfect delight to him. The secret of the disciple is “I am entirely his, and he is carrying out his work through me.”

Be entirely his.

Wisdom from Oswald

It is impossible to read too much, but always keep before you why you read. Remember that “the need to receive, recognize, and rely on the Holy Spirit” is before all else. Approved Unto God, 11 L