This is only the beginning.

No matter where we are in our discipleship journey, we all can grow, deepen, and walk in greater holiness, victory, and triumph.

We don’t graduate as disciples of Christ Jesus, we ARE disciples. We daily choose to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus (see Mark 8:34). We are ever growing in holiness and godliness as God, through His Spirit within us, daily conforms us to the image of Christ (see Romans 8:29).

This is an endless process that becomes sweeter and richer over time.

Andrew Murray once said,

“You will ask me, are you satisfied? Have you got all you want? God forbid. With the deepest feeling of my soul I can say that I am satisfied with Jesus now; but there is also the consciousness of how much fuller the revelation can be of the exceeding abundance of His grace. Let us never hesitate to say, ‘This is only the beginning.'”*

How many times in the Christian life do we progress in our spiritual lives, grow in our intimacy with Jesus, and find ourselves doing “better” than everyone around us, only to stop moving forward and become comfortable and stagnant where we are?

In our pursuit to know Jesus better, grow in intimacy and oneness with Him, and deepen our understanding of the Word, we discover that not all Christians live with an earnest desire for more. And since we feel uncomfortable being the only ones moving forward, we begin to settle in, slow down, and lose our focus. When we look at the world and see that we are doing better than our culture, we pitch our tents and set up camp one step further along than the people around us. But Christianity is not meant to be lived one step ahead of culture; it is, as my friend Eric Ludy calls it, “The Endless Frontier.”

In Eric’s book When God Writes Your Life Story, he shares the following account of a conversation he had years ago. He used to take lessons from an incredible voice coach named Scott, but the entire first year of training, Scott never complimented him once. So finally, one day Eric got up the courage to ask how good he was, and here was their conversation …

“Eric, you played soccer growing up didn’t you?”

“Yeah,” I answered, not quite catching what this had to do with my singing talents.

“When did you start playing soccer?”

“I don’t know. I guess I was probably seven.”

“Think back to when you were seven years old and you had been playing soccer for one month. How good were you?”

“I stunk!” I answered without hesitation.

“Exactly!” Scott rang happily.

I stood there in stunned silence. Despair whirled inside my head. After a year of intense training, I still stunk? All my hard work had been for nothing?

But before my self-deflating was complete, Scott interjected a powerful piece of wisdom. “Eric,” he said earnestly, “there is something you need to understand. Singing is an endless frontier. It is a frontier that no one has reached the end of or fully explored. You have taken one step into this endless frontier, and you are asking me how far you have gone. Well, you’ve only taken one measly step!

“I want you to realize something,” Scott continued sincerely. “You have taken one step into the endless frontier of singing. And you are now one step further into this frontier than 99.9 percent of the human race. But don’t be satisfied with just one step. Don’t settle for just being above average. Never pitch your tent. Until you have explored the outer reaches of this endless frontier, never stop your pursuit of excellence!”**

An endless frontier. That statement has forever changed Eric’s life—not just with singing, but with how he approaches every area of life: marriage, being a dad, and life as a Christian.

And the concept has profoundly affected my life ever since Eric shared it with me.

Pursuing the Endless Frontier

If I took you out to a road and told you that at the end of every mile there was a box filled with $1000, how many miles would you be willing to walk? Would you stop after the first mile because you now had cash in your pocket? Of course not—you’d be crazy if you did.

I’d walk as far as I could, and then when I couldn’t possibly make it another step, I would use some of the money to rent a car and keep going!

Why is it that in our Christian lives we take one step forward, look around, realize we are doing better than the rest of the world, and then pitch our tents? We grow lax, get comfortable, become lethargic, and stop moving.

This is only the beginning, yet we assume we’ve found the end. Surely we’ve come as far as possible … right?

What would happen if you realized that the Christian life did not stop a couple of steps beyond the culture but was truly an endless frontier? What if there was always more to be had? What if there were always more rich nuggets to find in God’s Word? What if the Christian life only got better, more exciting, increasingly passion-filled, more fulfilling, deeper, richer, and more satisfying the more we pressed down its endless corridors?

Why would you stop or slow down when there is more to be had?

I want to know Jesus better tomorrow than I know Him today. I want to be more in love with Jesus next year than I have ever been. I want my understanding and knowledge of Scripture to increase day by day. I don’t want to settle in, become comfortable, or lose passion; I long to take another step into the endless frontier in my spiritual life.


Discipleship is the process of becoming like Jesus Christ; sharing in His life and being conformed to His image.

We don’t live in an apprenticeship culture, but a hundred plus years ago, if you wanted to learn a trade, you’d become an apprentice of a master in the craft.

For the sake of illustration, let’s say I desired to become a blacksmith. I wouldn’t go to blacksmith school or intern a few hours a week; rather, I’d go live with the local blacksmith and immerse myself in the life of a blacksmith. Being a master blacksmith is more than what you do during work hours and encompasses all of life.

So too with being a disciple of Christ.

Christianity is not about showing up on Sunday mornings, checking prayer off your life a few times a week, and living your life however you want. Christianity is about giving up the rights to your own life (deny yourself), taking up your cross, and living by the LIFE of Jesus Christ (see 1 John 4:9).

Being a disciple is an all-the-time lifestyle.

It is moment-by-moment living from Him, through Him, and to Him for His glory (see Romans 11:36). It is to walk in a constant obedience, an absolute surrender, and a continual abiding in Christ.

And healthy discipleship bears fruit (reproduces itself). As Paul told Timothy, “And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Discipleship is to not only walk out the reality of Scripture, but to make other disciples who, in turn, can teach and make even more disciples.

Where to start in discipleship?

Again, discipleship is not about accomplishment or reaching a certain level but an intentional progression toward Christ, walking in greater holiness, and showcasing the life of love of Christ to the world.

The following are some key areas that are helpful to know as you build a foundation of discipleship for the rest of your life:


* Quoted in the article The Exchanged Life by Andrew Murray, from The Christian Magazine, August 15, 1895.
** Eric and Leslie Ludy, When God Writes Your Life Story (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2004), 25–26.

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