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Do I have to go on a journey to be a disciple?

Q: Do I have to go on a journey to be a disciple? A: No, most disciples of Jesus don't go on the kind of kingdom journey he prescribed for his followers in Luke 9 and then again in Luke 10. BUT….if you want to really learn to walk as Jesus walked, you'll go on one. There is no more …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Q: Do I have to go on a journey to be a disciple?
A: No, most disciples of Jesus don't go on the kind of kingdom journey he prescribed for his followers in Luke 9 and then again in Luke 10.

BUT….if you want to really learn to walk as Jesus walked, you'll go on one. There is no more direct way to learn to walk as Jesus walked than a kingdom journey.

Yes, there are many different ways to learn radical dependence on God.

You can have cancer and find yourself begging God for healing.
     You can lose your job or your spouse.
         You may, through no fault of your own, find yourself in a bad financial bind.

And when your world falls apart, you might find yourself praying prayers like, "Oh God, help me! I can't do this on my own – I need you!" You pray prayers of dependence.

God is not a sadist, but he knows that it will take pain to move us from our comfortable place as he invites us to a place of intimacy with him. He invites us to see that he is trustworthy and powerful and cares about little old us.

1 John 2:6 says "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." How did Jesus walk? He walked away from comfort and towards a life focused around meeting the needs of others, setting them free. And he literally walked – he journeyed. And as he did so, Jesus engaged in a process that forced him to depend on the Father.

He went on a three-year kingdom journey where he had to rely on God at every step along the way. No food? Better pray for your daily bread. Healing the sick? Better be connected to the Father so you can know what he's saying. Casting out demons? You better have the authority that Jesus delegated or you'll fail.

Jesus showed us with his example that the central purpose of a kingdom journey is to force you to places of dependence.

Jesus wanted to teach his disciples to "only do what they see the Father doing."* He himself did that and he wanted his disciples to do the same.

How does a young, modern dsiciple learn to walk that way? In a society where 40% of young people grow up in a fatherless home, where cynicism is the norm, where relativism is the religion, the path that Jesus walked is the way. He is the way. And he leads us down the path of a kingdom journey.

*John 5:19

Comments (5)

  • A Kingdom Journey is the longing of my heart. Just don’t know how to get there from where I am at age 55 and fully entrenched in the lives of my kids and their families. The roots are so deep!

  • You’ve got just one life, Pearle. I suggest you live it to the full. I’m 54, have 5 kids and a grandkid on the way. I don’t want to die with regrets, never having tested the goodness of God in situations beyond my capacity.

  • Pearle – I understand! I’m 56, and a year and a half ago I left Connecticut after living there longer than anywhere else in my life (18 years). I moved to Georgia in order to work with Adventures in Missions full time. My situation was perhaps made a bit easier by the fact that my kids are grown and had left CT, my extended family was not there, etc. But it was driven largely by a restless that wouldn’t go away. I started blogging earlier this year and actually did a couple of early posts on how to be a radical disciple without going on the World Race. I also did one on the restlessness finally being gone. So I’ve thought about this a lot – and I wrestled a long time before I found the courage to take my leap of faith. Here’s the link to one of the blogs if you are interested – and you can find the others once you are there: http://bettymeans.myadventures.org/?filename=living-radically-in-your-everyday-life-part-one

    I’d be happy to talk with you if you would like. Email Seth through his blog and he can forward it to me. Or go to my blog and email me from there.

    I would echo Seth’s encouragement to pay attention to the desire, to the sense that there is something out there that God is nudging you to be part of.

  • Pearle, I understand and hear your heart here. At age 54, and with 6 kids and a couple of grandchildren, I hopped on an airplane 13 months ago bound for the Philippines with a crazy idea to find a house to rescue girls trafficked in the sex trade.

    I’m not independently wealthy, as I was teaching history and coaching basketball in a Christian high school here in Boise, Idaho. I quit this year because my heart is broken for the poor and those in chains. I admit that I am struggling to make ends meet, but I believe God has something special in store for me and my bride. Pearle, I AM GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD with the radical love of Jesus flowing from me.

    If you want to see our dream, you can visit http://www.WipeEveryTear.org and see how good God is to this ol’ coach!

    I just heard Jeremy Camp on the radio a couple of hours ago, and when I read your post, I gathered the lyrics of his song “Reckless”. These are for you, me, and all of us who are struggling with our deep roots.

    Everytime I try to play it safe
    Holding back just a little part of me
    I find myself forgetting what
    I say that I believe
    The promise of Your Word
    Is all I need
    I’ll lay my life down
    And give it up
    I’ll give it up

    I wanna be reckless
    Cause You are endless
    I wanna be shameless
    And shout Your greatness
    I will not be afraid
    To surrender my way
    And follow who You are
    I wanna be reckless, reckless

    I will lose my life
    And just let go
    Because I know this world is not my home
    With fearless faith
    I won’t be moved
    Unshakeable inside Your truth
    You laid Your life down
    And gave it up
    So I’ll give it up


    I won’t waste any more time
    My life’s Yours it is not mine
    Use me Lord no matter what’s at stake

    God bless you REAL GOOD Pearle. Like Betty said above, I’d love to converse with you as well to encourage you! [email protected].

  • Wow! You all have blown me away! All in my own age range and situation and all speaking precisely the feelings of restlessness and desire and longing. My kids are all grown as well. Our 5th grandchild was born the day after Christmas. It’s hard to think about leaving them and going off but I know before long, it will be harder still to not go. Thank you for offering your support and encouragement. I have off the next 3 days and plan on doing a lot of reading and a lot of praying. I’ve been sensing in my spirit that God really wants me to learn to TRUST so that’s going to be my focus word for the next year. Unless He changes it to GO!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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