Ediban: The Impact of Discipleship

Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

This is a verse that most Christians know but don’t really apply to their life. That included me for a long time. I grew up in a in a Christian home. I attended Bible study, went to church every Sunday and went to every church camp. I was loved by my family and raised knowing the importance of what it is to be in a family. If you were to judge a book by its cover, it may have looked like I was walking well with the Lord. But if you were to look closely at my life, you’d have seen that I was not.

I didn’t want to go back to living the comfortable life again

I was living a comfortable life. At church, I was never really challenged; it was okay that I didn’t read the Bible or prepare for Bible study. I thought everything was okay because I didn’t have accountability or someone to look up to, who could help me with my personal issues. I wasn’t submissive to the Word and my heart was not fully pursuing God.

My friends from school all knew that I was a Christian, but they couldn’t see it. I wanted to fit in everywhere I went. I wanted to please everyone and just stay out of trouble. Everything changed when I turned 18 and was old enough to make my own decisions. I was tired of playing Christian and thought my life would be so much easier just living in the world without a care. But even living in the world, I couldn’t find that true enjoyment.

I had so many regrets and I knew something had to change, but I wasn’t ready to give up my worldly life. I knew I needed to go back to church, but I didn’t want to go back to living the comfortable life again and simply play Christian.

I eventually ran into my old friend Blake Sidebottom who invited me to his bible study, and soon after that I started attending MBT. Here I felt like I was part of a body where I knew I could grow. This time, I started to apply Psalm 119:105 to my life and fully submit to it. I learned how to do this through discipleship.

...read until you hear what God is trying to tell you and you feel his presence burning inside you.

I know it was God’s plan to have James McKelvey be the person to disciple me. We have so much in common. We both graduated with a business management degree and we like playing and watching sports. He married a Mexican, I am Mexican. Because of our jobs, we both have the same fashion styles and our personalities are very similar. But more important than all of that is that we also have the same struggles and have gone through some of the same trials.

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

I was so blessed to have James disciple me. He was always there for me when I needed him through every trial that I had. James knew where to go in the Bible to help me in whatever trial I was going through. We would pray together, knowing that the Lord will be glorified in every trial. Because of these times of counsel and prayer, I know how to have joy in whatever situation I’m in. I can take any trial, grow from it, and be more like Jesus Christ in attitude and character.

One of my big struggles was getting into the Word on a daily basis. Sometimes I had a hard time understanding it and it would frustrate me.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

I learned that the more I grow with God, the more I’ll understand his Word through the Spirit. James gave me great advice that he got from someone else: read until you hear what God is trying to tell you and you feel his presence burning inside you. One thing we did (and still do) is send each other key passages or verses from what we read that day. At first it was just me and James, but now it is with our whole Bible study. It helps us to stay accountable as well as learn from one another. Discipleship helped me have consistency and joy in the Word.

I am no longer playing Christian; I am a Christian.

As I grew in the Word, I grew in ministry. James was a teacher in our children’s ministry, and he advised me to join Kidtown because he knew it would help me grow. Teaching kids the Bible was something I never thought I’d do. One of my greatest struggles at the time was teaching and explaining Bible passages to people. But being in Kidtown with the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders helped me learn how to teach. Not only do I teach the Word of God, but I also have to study up and be prepared because these kids will latch on to my every word. I have grown to love every single one of my students and love watching them grow.

Because of discipleship, I am no longer playing Christian; I am a Christian. I am now more submitted to the Word. I use it for everything in my life and every trial I go through. I have a stronger relationship with God and understand Him more.  Because of discipleship, I know how to teach others the Word of God. Because of discipleship, Psalm 119:105 is finally true in my life. His word is truly a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

Ediban de la Torre is a member of C&YA and is very involved in Friends of Internationals. In this post, Ediban shares how discipleship deepened his relationship with the Word and grew him in ways he never expected.