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Am I Ready For YWAM?

October 19, 2020 - January 1, 2030

YWAM Marine Reach NZ Blog

Am I Ready For YWAM?

Am I Ready For YWAM? Am I Ready For Discipleship? 

When one stands on the brink of a new adventure, a new chapter, or a new season, it’s normal to take a deep breath and ask the question: “Am I ready for this?” (Luke 14:28-33) For those who are considering participating in a YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS), the question “Am I ready for a YWAM DTS?” has likely crossed their minds, and for good reason: the testimonies of many DTS graduates paint a vision of Christianity so different (possibly even radically different) from their own experience that some Christians disqualify themselves from thinking that it could ever become their reality. 

They may believe things like: “I’m just not ready to have that kind of faith in God” or “I haven’t been a good enough Christian to have that close of a relationship with Jesus” or “When I get my __________________ (fill in the blank … ‘sin’, ‘career’, ‘relationship’, ‘finances’ etc.) under control, then I’ll let God have total control of my life.” Sadly, many of us let these subconscious thoughts (and others like them) disqualify us and prevent us from ever growing in God.

For those who are asking questions like “Am I ready for discipleship?” or “Am I ready for YWAM?” you may be asking the wrong question; you just have to ask yourself: “Do I really want to grow in God?” If your answer is “Yes”, then nothing else matters: you are ready. Right now. 

Allow me to explain.

Jesus and the Cost of Discipleship

When people approached Jesus and pledged to become one of his disciples, he didn’t sugar-coat anything, but was intensely realistic about what he expected of those who would follow him. In Luke 9:57-62, there are a few very sobering interactions recorded between Jesus and some would-be disciples. For each, the opportunity of following Jesus was on the table, only to be overturned by some underlying duty, worry, or attachment. He was very clear: If you want to follow him, everything else in your life must take a back seat to the authority of Jesus.

These ones must have thought they were so ready to lay it all down and follow the Messiah. Each seemed very zealous, but they also included a “but first” statement in their declarations. They knew that they wanted to make a change and begin a new chapter of their lives, but wanted to wait until they felt the conditions were perfect. However, Jesus, knowing what was in each person (John 2:23-35), simply highlighted for them their biggest contender to his Lordship and kept moving. In doing so, he left them to contemplate whether they were serious enough about discipleship to lay even the strongest cultural obligations, fears, and loyalties at his feet. 

We aren’t told how these would-be disciples answered Jesus, but each of us is invited to come up with our own answer to Jesus’ call to become one of his disciples.

What are your “But first’s”?

This is a common human reaction when faced with the possibility of embarking on a new adventure: before you embrace the new, you have to be willing to let go of the old. So why would it be any different with following Jesus?

Each of us has a few things in our lives that we would rather hold onto than go without: our secret addictions, our little compulsions, our long-standing beliefs, our preferences, our ‘ways’. We hold onto them because, for one reason or another, we believe them to be good, right or valuable in some way, adding to our lives. 

But what if that wasn’t the case? What if these little attachments were the very thing keeping you from embracing the new life Jesus has for you? What if letting them go was the doorway to freedom? 

Imagine Jesus was standing in front of you, inviting you to follow him: what would be your reply? Would it include a “but first” statement? E.g. “I’ll follow you Jesus, but first, let me get my pornography addiction under control” or “I’ll give you everything Jesus, but first, I need to be a little more secure in my identity” or “I’ll be your disciple, but first, let me save enough money to finance my mission trip.”

Jesus Is Calling

In case you haven’t heard, Jesus is calling you to be his disciple. He’s asking whether you are willing to lay aside every excuse, every hurdle, every roadblock to lay hold of him. This is incredible news! Jesus knows exactly what’s in your heart; he knows your past, your tendencies, your failures, your weaknesses, etc. and he still wants you to be his disciple

We reveal our ignorance of God’s grace when we insert a “but first” in our reply to Jesus’ invitation. He already knows everything about you, and (here’s the beautiful part) he wants you as you are. You don’t need to become a super-Christian before Jesus welcomes you into discipleship. It’s not our own efforts to change our lives that qualify us for close fellowship with God, but the other way around: encounters with God and his kindness lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4). 

For those who think that a relationship with God is earned, discipleship will always seem impossibly difficult. But for those who are willing to hear it, God’s favour is already given to us, through the work and gift of Jesus; all that’s required is to believe, receive, and step out. The invitation qualifies us because it comes from the one who has already accounted for and made up for all our shortcomings.

Are You Ready?

So, are you ready to take the next step and follow Jesus’ call? Maybe he’s calling you to get baptized. Maybe he’s calling you to do a YWAM DTS to equip you for overseas missions. Maybe he’s calling you to sell your possessions and minister to orphans in a developing nation. Are you ready? Don’t wait until the stars align and you feel 100% ready. Don’t disqualify yourself; God hasn’t.

If you really want to follow Jesus, you’re ready. 

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October 19, 2020
January 1, 2030
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