The Making of a Disciple - 7 Days of Mentorship

Day 5 of 7 • This day’s reading


Valleys of Learning—Navigating through Missteps and Mistakes

Disciples will face times of discouragement, doubt of calling, weights of the past, and weights of the flesh that have the potential of causing a misstep or mistake in serving the Lord. Missteps are just that—taking a step without the Lord, causing the disciple to miss the direction the Lord is leading or intending for the disciple. 

Missteps happen when three areas of the disciple's life are affected: the heart, spiritual understanding, and what is acknowledged as help or provision. Out of the three things mentioned, the heart is most troublesome and deceptive. The heart is where the seat of our emotions resides; it is swayed easily by desire and self-promotion. The heart can deceive the mind, and the issues of life flow through it. 

Emotions act on instinct from experience and the use of the five senses: touch, smell, hearing, tasting, seeing. Because of the fallen state of man, the first instinct of emotions is self-preservation. This instinct is "to protect at all costs regardless of the outcome." The second instinct to be used is the five human senses which govern the emotions: "what we see, what we hear, what we smell, what we taste, and what we feel causes emotions to act on the instinct of an experience." 

Circumstances may arise to incite emotions to react without faith, causing a misstep with the Lord because the disciple focuses on the natural eye and not the spiritual eye. The natural eye pays attention to what is tangible and can move the emotions to fight or flight. The spiritual eye, which is insight, pays attention to the unseen spiritual world and relies on faith in God's abilities to navigate the disciple through any circumstance. Faith and insight are vehicles that take us into the unseen kingdom of God. Furthermore, insight introduces us to faith and helps build our faith. 

In a sermon I preached entitled "The Spiritual Eye," God reveals something in the Bible that was a new revelation to what the scripture meant in Isaiah. God shows a powerful understanding of the spiritual eye and natural eye through the parable in the book of Matthew. In the book of Matthew, Jesus talks about the spiritual eye and ear versus the natural eye and ear; the spiritual and natural hinges on the ability of the disciple to be able to be teachable and learn the difference. Jesus is speaking in this scripture, and it breaks down like this: "Therefore I speak to them in parables . . ." Note: parables are designed to teach people something—in the case of Jesus, spiritual principles and teachings of the unseen kingdom of God. "Because seeing (naturally) they do not see (spiritually) and hearing (naturally) they do not hear (spiritually), nor do they understand (spiritually). Moreover, in them, the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says. Hearing (naturally) you will hear (naturally) and shall not understand (spiritually) and seeing (naturally) you will see (naturally) and not perceive (spiritually); For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing (spiritually), and their eyes they have closed (spiritually), lest they should see (spiritually) with their eyes and hear (spiritually) with their ears, lest they should understand (spiritually) with their hearts and turn so that I should heal them."

Our faith plays an important part in seeing and hearing spiritually. The disciple must train themselves in the spiritual things of God and exercise the spiritual senses that they may understand every time God speaks or every time they read the word of God. Dealing with humanity's five senses, when provoked, the intuitive experience through the senses causes them to act based on memory, pushing out the substance of faith in God. Smell, taste, touch, hearing, and seeing trigger memory. If something terrible is experienced through the five senses, it is more probable that the person will not trust the spiritual senses and the unseen world. The memory of a bad experience triggers the emotional state recreating the experience, therefore acting out of the natural rather than the spiritual, rendering the heart deceived from memory. "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?"

When the heart is deceived, it ceases learning what is true and leans on memory and emotions, and then holds on to the false perceptions of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit's abilities to deliver or save. The disciple must master protecting the heart and continually inundate the heart with the truth of God's word. God's truths make the heart free of issues that come to convolute and destroy the work of learning and understanding—the making and walk of the disciple. The disciple's walk is based on the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Sample prayer:

Father, please train my ears to hear spiritually and my eyes to see spiritually to be healed emotionally. I thank you for your grace that is sufficient for me in times of missteps and mistakes. Thank you for your love and grace over my life; in Jesus Christ's name, Amen.