Obstacles to Making Disciples Part 5

Okay, last one on things that get in the way of us making disciples for a lifetime. Most of these emails, I throw out there thinking if some of you read it, great. This one, I hope you all read.

Read Haggai this week. It opens with a bang. "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.' Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, 'Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?'" Yikes. He goes on, "Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.'"

This is how I read it: God accuses his people of putting off the work of building his house, while having worked on and finishing their own homes. He tells them to take an inventory of their lives and think. You work hard, and have little. Eat and drink and are not satisfied. We have so much stuff and make plenty of money, but it's never enough. Why?

There are lots of obstacles to a life of disciple making. There is a powerful enemy. Our own selfish desires betray us. It's so easy to get derailed by a life of sin. If those don't get you, there are a litany of things under the broad heading of suffering. But some of us will overcome all these and more. As we do, we grow even stronger. Become a real problem.

If the enemy has the option, why deal with us on a field of battle when he can buy us out. The weird thing about prosperity is that instead of satisfying us, it gives us the illusion that satisfaction can be had. "Oh with this, this and that set up, you're so close. Don't you see? If you can just get to... just right over there." And so, we try and try. We build our houses, our careers, our this and our that. All the while saying, "Right now isn't the time to build the house of the Lord." And it feels like we put all our work into a bag with a big fat hole in it.

Our greatest danger isn't suffering and pain. It's not busyness. Not even the devil himself. I think the thing that poses the greatest threat to a life of disciple making for us today is the illusion of fulfillment that a prosperous world promises.

but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Mark 4:19