Yeshua, therefore, said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you: if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and do not drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves…. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.” …Then many of His disciples, having heard, said, “This word is hard. Who is able to listen to it?” …And from this time, many of His disciples went away backward, and were walking with Him no more. (John 6:53, mjlt)
How well-attended would our congregations be if we eliminated the experience? Or the ritual? What would happen if we took away the “energetic worship,” or the multi-media presentations, or the “relevant” messages that guarantee our encouragement and comfort? This is what my generation—and younger—craves (whether we know it, or admit it, or not), and it is according to these elements that many decide where and with whom we will “worship.” But while older generations may pursue a bit more subdued set of criteria—more traditions, less volume, less technology—where (and whether) we attend services is still about the religious experience. Take that away, and we have no idea what to do with the leftovers—we don’t know how to relate to one another in Messiah, and we don’t know how to make disciples.
Are we a generation of true, sold-out disciples of Messiah? Or are we only seeking Him through self-oriented spiritual or ritualistic means—merely attempting to feed our own happiness and health? If we truly desire to instead feed on Him—not for our own sakes, but for the happiness and health of others—then there are a few things we can do to live out the fullness of the life from Messiah.
- Evaluate and soldify our own walk with Yeshua. Too many of us have, at best, made Yeshua part of our routine; at worst, lost him in the monotany and struggles of everyday life. You need to reorient yourself, making Yeshua the center and goal of your life, and then destroy and rebuild your daily life around His reality.
- Rekindle our passion for God by remembering who He is, and what He’s done for us. Has Yeshua ever actually done something for you? Saved you? Changed you? Then now it’s time to remember it, refocus your mind and heart upon it, and realize that He is the most extraordinary being in and beyond the universe—and He is worth telling everyone you meet all about Him.
- Notch out time for discipleship, even if we have no one to disciple yet. Your whole job, disciple of Messiah, is to make more disciples. But if your life is too full of busy-ness and your own self-focused spiritual pursuits, you will only always be a taker—never a giver. Rearrange your life today as if you were already spending hours every week discipling a new believer. If you make such room for God in your life, what do you think He will do with it?
- Be built up through the sharing of our lives with other believers. Get out of the congregation, the bible study, the prayer meeting, the house fellowship, and the Facebook, and get involved in each others’ lives! The experience you crave is not in a show, but in the richness of seeing God help and heal your brothers and sisters. Then you too will find the fullness and purpose of your life.
When the Master Yeshua presented His disciples with a “hard word”—leaving them feeling neither encouraged, nor comfortable—”many of His disciples went away backward, and were walking with Him no more.” What kind of disciple are you? The one who seeks a more palatable experience as the Master asks, “Do you also want to go away?” (John 6:67). Or will you seek God, not experientially and through what pleases you, but through the plain, simple and pure commitment of your heart to only do His Word?
With what does a young man purify his path? To guard it—according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You, Let me not stray from Your commands…. Blessed are You, Adonai… In Your precepts I meditate, And look attentively to Your paths. (Psalm 119:9-15)
What do you think? Share your thoughts below.