Developing disciples of Jesus is nothing like killing snakes.
Imagine you walked into the shed behind your house, filled with venomous snakes. Our natural reaction would be to go after them with all our energy. There would be no plan other than to destroy the one who threatened to harm us. We would randomly swing our rake in all directions to keep the creatures at bay. We would aim to make it out of the situation alive and undamaged.
Sometimes I watch new believers go about discipleship the same way. We want to be like Jesus and go after it with all our energy. We have no plan other than to attend whatever event is closest to us. We listen and read anything labeled “Christian,” hoping to learn as fast as possible. Our goal is to make it through this life and spend eternity in heaven.
Discipleship is not like killing snakes. Instead, it is a long slow process. It requires day-by-day attention to our souls. It is intentional without being hurried. We plan to gain knowledge and practical advice from those who have gone before us. We are mentored and equipped in the service of the Lord. Our goal is to become like Jesus until we can spend our days with him. In the meantime, we will help other people become better disciples too.
I love the energy and excitement of a new believer. I wish I could bottle it up and share it with those who have followed Jesus for a lifetime. But their exuberance for faith is often like killing snakes; the sad result is that it usually ends up killing them.
I hope you are excited to become all that God desires for you but walk the path slowly and methodically with a clear end in mind. Quite often, slow and steady wins the race.