In 2 Corinthians 13:5-7 the Apostle Paul gives us sober instructions. “5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Messiah Yeshua is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. 7 But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.”
What is the test?
I’m reminded of instructions that Paul gave to Timothy in 2 Tim. 2:1-5. “Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Messiah Yeshua. 2 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. 3 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Messiah Yeshua. 4 Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. 5 And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules.”
OK, what are the rules?
God gave us the rules through Yeshua’s instructions. He gave us the rules through the examples we see in Yeshua’s life. The test then, is how well we follow and grow in Yeshua’s instructions and example, and how well we teach these truths to others.
Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Rule #1: We are to love God with everything we’ve got. We’re to have no idols in our hearts, or lives. We’re to do everything we can to regularly allow the Holy Spirit to search us and see if there be any wicked way in us, and we’re to live lifestyles of repentance (change.) Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
Rule #2: We are to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves. Think about that. What does that really mean? We’re to desire to feed, clothe, provide and care for the people around us, as much as we do things for ourselves.
So the test involves our inner life and the outer expression of our hearts. If we truly love God there will be actions we take to display our love and devotion to His Word. In comparing our lives with soldiers we’re given the understanding that this process of following the rules and passing the test will not be easy. There will be suffering involved and it will take great discipline. Interesting that in the word discipline we see the word disciple. You cannot be Messiah’s disciple without discipline. It will not happen automatically, and therein lays a key to passing the test, according to the rules set forth by God Himself.
The life of a disciple is not a passive, lackadaisical enterprise. It’s a life of discipline and intentionality.
• A true disciple of Messiah is actively seeking the Lord and seeking to grow in His image. (2 Cor. 3:18)
• A true disciple of Messiah is pursuing God and following the passions deep in their heart that lead to the fulfillment of their divine destiny.
• A true disciple of Messiah is putting to death the deeds and desires of the flesh, while picking up his/her cross daily and seeking to do whatever it takes to do greater works on earth than Yeshua did. (John 14:12)
• A true disciple is learning the Scriptures and applying them to his/her life.
All of us are like sprouts pushing through the ground toward the sun (Son.) Our little heads pop out into the light from the darkness and we receive nourishment of light and water from God. The Word of God, planted in our hearts mingled with the power of the Holy Spirit, causes us to grow taller and closer to the sun (Son.) We start to develop uniquely beautiful characteristics that bring glory to God. In the fullness of maturation we multiply. We produce seed that helps other sprouts to push through the darkness and into the marvelous light.
The DNA that we carry is Yeshua’s. Remember what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 13:5? Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Messiah Yeshua is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
Ultimately the test involves our becoming like Yeshua. We do this by being willing to count it all joy in our suffering. We do this by being disciplined and obedient to Yeshua’s commands, as He was obedient to the Father’s commands.
As an exclamation point to the Gospel letters, we receive some very clear instructions from Yeshua, Himself. In Matthew 28:19-20 our instructions are clear. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
What are you doing in your life to obey these instructions? Mission Discipleship is here to help you pass the test with flying colors and become the world-changer that you’re destined to be.
Are you ready to grow as Yeshua’s disciple? I’m telling the truth when I say you must grow in order to pass the test. Not all who say “Lord, Lord” are going to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”