".....teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you....." Matthew 28:20
Like many young boys, I once harbored a vision of becoming a major league baseball player. There was one problem with that vision, I wasn't talented enough to play at that level. I probably didn't have the physical talent to play college ball either - but I did - for four years. And I played a lot. So, I got closer to my dream than my physical abilities warranted.
How was I able to reach a higher level of competition than I probably deserved? Why was I able to compete with more physically gifted athletes and hold my own?
Was I lucky?
Was I lucky?
Not at all! I earned every inning that I got to play. I worked very hard, trained and practiced by the hours.
When I started playing baseball at the Little League level I was fortunate to have had a coach who was a major league scout and had played some minor league professional ball. Because he knew the game and had played it well, he was able to teach me the fundamentals of baseball. Because he had been what I was hoping to be, I trusted him and I did everything he taught me to do in the fundamentally correct way he showed me to do it.
I enjoyed a college baseball career for one reason - I played the game exactly the way Dean Ford taught me to play it. Everything that I did was fundamentally correct. And because of that, I performed at a college level with limited physical talent. My college success was fundamentally sound because I did everything exactly as he had told me to do it.
How do we teach someone to obey?
Jesus taught us to obey by being personally obedient to The Father. He modeled it. He demonstrated it to the very point of His death on a cross.
These disciples were very average men who became pivotal players in the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ by being obedient to Jesus. They did "everything He commanded them". Therefore, they became much more effective than they should have been because they did life and ministry just like Jesus told them.
They learned obedience by obeying what God told them to do. And they achieved more with their lives than they would have without obeying Jesus. Living and serving as Jesus had showed them to do it allowed them to change the world.
It wasn't so much that they changed the world but it was the power of Jesus working through their obedience.
So, how do we get others to become obedient followers of Jesus? What do we have to "do" to teach them to obey? Simple! Obey!
God's vision for evangelizing the world included our obedience allowing His power and grace to flow through us!
Embrace the fundamentals of obedient service and play at a much higher level than you ever envisioned!