…you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward. John 13:36
Here is the prophetic promise of discipleship. Jesus declares the paradox of spiritual life: “…you cannot… but you shall”. Discipleship is not built on human strength and potential, but on a realisation of our own bankruptcy and weakness. There is enormous release when we realise that God wants us to bring our weaknesses and inabilities to Him, so that His strength and power will be manifested in us. This takes the striving, and the sense of failure and guilt out of discipleship. God requires our acknowledgement of weakness, and our faith that He will be in us all that He asks us to be. God is the sustainer of inner life. The key to spiritual life is self-emptying so that we may be filled with the Holy Spirit, who is the power to live. The Holy Spirit does not just give power for miraculous deeds, but power for miraculous living. If the age of miracles were past, then Christianity would have little to offer a weak and helpless humanity! Jesus tells us that we can’t pray, we can’t love, but that we shall be empowered to do all these things and more. This is the rock and foundation of all we shall ever be.
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