Discipileship and The Omega Man


I'm not going to lie, I like End of the World, apocalyptic movies!

Now mind you, I'm not into all the zombie stuff--I mean I do have standards. But those oldies like The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston, or the vintage Planet of the Apes series-- now ya gotta be honest, they don't make them like that anymore!

Yea I know, the special effects were not that "special" and the apelike behavior of Cornelius was definitely cheesy but there was just something about them that just mesmerized me (Ok, I guess I do need therapy after all).

I can remember watching The Omega Man for the first first time (and yes, I loved I Am Legend, starring Will Smith) wondering what it would be like to be the last person left on the planet--what would it feel like to drive through a large city like Chicago, LA or New York in the middle of the day and see no one? No other cars, no crazy drivers who cut you off making ONE WAY hand gestures? Every store vacant, even the Apple store would be empty.  What would it be like to drive through your neighborhood with all the windows broken or boarded up, doors creaking in the wind, lawns overgrown and gardens unkept? Creepy--for sure! Terrifying? yea, maybe.

Stop reading for just a second and think about this: "I am the only person left in the world, there is no one else, I am totally and utterly alone."  

To be alone is the worst possible experience a person can have because God created us with the need for relationships.

Henri Nouwen says:

"Loneliness is one of the most universal sources of
human suffering today."

-Henri Nouwen: Reaching Out , 25.

In fact, in many instances when the Bible refers to death, it is often describing a state of isolation or separation from relationship.  Life requires relationship.  Everything that is alive is connected in some way to something else.

Think about it this way:

What happens if you place a plant in a box away from any source of light?  It will die, right? Because plants need light to survive. What would happen if you never watered that plant? It would die because plants need water. What would happen if you let me take care of your plant while you're on vacation? It will die because I don't have very good luck with indoor plants, sorry.

In order for a human being to grow and thrive he or she must be connected in relationship with both God and other people.

God is relational by His very nature. God exists as three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (talk about a cool small group!). Now don't ask me to explain the Trinity because that's above my pay grade but suffice it to say God is relational and part of being created in God's image (Gen 1:26) means that you and I are relational beings too: we need each other.

Dr. Henry Cloud describes it this way:

"Relationships, or bonding is at the foundation of God's nature. Since we are created in his likeness, relationship is our most fundamental need, the very foundation of who we are. Without relationship without attachment to God and others, we can't be our true selves." -Henry Cloud: Changes that Heal, 49.

And just as you and I cannot live and thrive physically and emotionally alone, neither can we thrive spiritually alone.

The journey of discipleship is not the Road Less Traveled alone but the Road Less Traveled together.

I believe that relationships with other believers is fundamental to our transformation into the image of Christ. That means, every Disciple needs to be with other Disciples to thrive and grow in Christ, you cannot journey alone.

Barbeque Anyone?

If you like to barbecue then no doubt—at one time or another—you've used briquettes. When you put the briquettes into the BBQ you carefully place them in a mound on top of each other (kind of like a pyramid) keeping them as close together as possible. When you light them, the flame eventually will go out but the briquettes will keep each other hot and begin to glow.

Now what do you think would happen If you were to take one of the hot, glowing briquettes out of the BBQ and place it off to side by itself? You know what would happen; it wouldn't stay hot for very long.

The analogy is pretty clear. 

Together we’re on fire for Christ but alone we grow cold. Together we are strong spiritually, but alone we become weak and easy pickins for the enemy. Together we grow and thrive physically, emotionally, and spiritually but alone we slowly wither and die. Why? Because God said, ‘It’s not good for man to be alone.’” (Gen 2:18) 

So let me ask you a question, you ready?

Who is on the journey of discipleship to Jesus with you?

© The Institute for Discipleship Training - 2018