I saw the movie Captain Phillips (a true story) on Sunday with close to forty Young Professionals. Tom Hanks was the lead role in the movie and (like usual) was amazing. The movie did a good job of depicting what happened to the Maersk Alabama when the ship sailed too close to the coast of Somalia and was boarded by four armed Somali pirates.
I’ve always dreamed of being a movie critic. Writing reviews for various films for a ridiculous amount of money sounds like a pretty good gig to me. No, this blog is not a movie review, but something in the movie really stuck out to me from a spiritual standpoint. The Navy Seals were called into handle the situation and ultimately saved Captain Phillips. It was really neat how the movie portrayed them. They we’re strong, confident, professional, and looked like they could seemingly do anything. The actors did a fine job of showing how tough these men were. They reminded me of what a Christ follower looks like when he or she commits to full discipleship.
Being a committed disciple of Jesus is like being in the Navy Seals. It’s like the special forces. The Seals go through things that humans are rarely exposed to. They train their bodies and senses to adapt and win at any circumstance. Christ followers who commit to full discipleship pass through God’s purifying fire. That fire hurts. It is unnatural to our flesh. In the long run it leads to life and peace, but following Jesus goes against our very nature.
The following points are essential marks of a disciple:
1. Purpose is to win souls to Jesus: Winning souls to Jesus has nothing to do with your desires as a human. It’s a spiritual desire. Being in a relationship with the opposite sex or eating food are human desires. Committed disciples want to be effective in the Kingdom of God. We have to realize that doing good things do not make us a disciple of Jesus. Hollywood gives tens of millions of dollars to the poor every year. They do a good thing, but they’re not winning souls to Jesus. They’re not concerned with preaching the gospel to those who have never heard it. They’re not concerned with helping people cultivate a strong and vibrant relationship with Jesus. Disciples are concerned with those things.
2. They realize they can’t accomplish their purpose without: Jesus, spiritual authority, and spiritual community. Disciples know that God is relational. He designed us to be in relationships with people. He gave you a mouth to speak. He gave you ears to listen. These are vital senses that aide in communication. God has placed people in your life to help guide you, love you, encourage you, and point out the blind spots that you can’t see.
3. Discipleship goes beyond church attendance: Like a Navy Seal goes beyond boot camp; a disciple goes beyond showing up and warming the pews. A disciple seeks deliverance. A disciple submits to the process of getting me out of me and getting Jesus into me.
4. Disciples are interested in total healing: They don’t want to be people that are racked with insecurity. They don’t want to be people who are controlled by bitterness and anger. They want to be completely healed.
5. Fully committed disciples allow Jesus and spiritual authority to dig deep in your private life and be completely transparent. It is so important to be real and open. If you’re dealing with something be honest about it.
At the end of the day committed disciples always want to find Jesus. They’re dependent on His power and His life. A couple of weeks ago, Pastor Russ spoke on an eternal value system. In order to be eternally driven we must become radical, committed disciples of Jesus Christ. Like the Navy Seals, committed followers of Jesus are strong, confident, and with God can accomplish wonders.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.