As Christian disciples, worldliness isn’t our snare; sin isn’t our snare. Our snare—the thing that threatens to entrap us—is a lack of spiritual discipline. If we are spiritually undisciplined, we shamelessly strive to fit in with the religious age we live in, drawn by the lure of spiritual “success.”

Never court anything besides the approval of God. Take yourself “outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore” (Hebrews 13:13). Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice. We have a commercial viewpoint, tallying up how many souls have been saved and sanctified on our watch. We forget that our work begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace. Our work is to disciple lives until they are entirely given over to God. One life wholly devoted to God is more valuable to him than a hundred lives reawakened by his Spirit. God brings his disciples to a standard of life by his grace, and we are responsible for reproducing that standard in others.

Unless we are living a life hidden with Christ in God, we are likely to become irritating dictators instead of indwelling disciples. Many of us are dictators. We dictate when we pray and when we preach, telling God what he must do, telling others how they must be. Jesus never dictated. When Jesus talked about discipleship, he prefaced it with an “if,” not with a “must” (Matthew 16:24 kjv). Discipleship carries an option with it.

Wisdom from Oswald

We never enter into the Kingdom of God by having our head questions answered, but only by commitment. The Highest Good—Thy Great Redemption, 565 R