Associating with Jesus, consecrating ourselves to relationship with Him, and receiving Him as He imparts Himself to us make it possible for Jesus to demonstrate what He can really do. It’s here that the rubber meets the road and we put our faith to action, a kind of on the job training that prepares us to take over His kingdom work. Our faith will grow step by step with each interaction with the power of Jesus building on those before it. Without even knowing it we’ll be on to doing kingdom work, almost like that first bike ride without training wheels. I remember feeling pretty safe knowing that my Dad had his hands firmly on the back of my bike seat. I wondered if he was getting tired running behind me and when I looked, I saw him stand one hundred or so feet behind me, smiling and waiving as I, me, all by myself rode my bike - without training wheels.
Don’t confuse this process with a destination. Disciples of Jesus will constantly and repeatedly work through the elements of association, consecration, impartation, demonstration, delegation, supervision, and reproduction. These elements will ebb and flow with the direction of the Holy Spirit and sometimes with our own drifting away from the safe mooring of Jesus. Through this process, apprenticing with Jesus and learning to be like Him.
How do we become disciples? In The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard says it requires a certain condition of the soul illustrated by two of Jesus’ parables. First, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Second, “the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” In both instances, the actors recognize an opportunity that they must not miss – treasure and pearls, theirs for the taking. Love of the value of the find compelled them to action, selling all they had to secure the prize. Exuberance and joy covered the process of discovery, actions, and possession from start to finish. When we open our eyes and see the opportunity, what Jesus can do with us in apprenticeship under His lead, when love for Him begins to impel us forward, then we have positioned ourselves to become disciples. We might not start with “sell all I have” intensity, but we need a least a glimmer, a slight flutter of excitement at the prospect of becoming like Jesus. Now, we’re ready.
How do I get from ready to running the race? I must decide to do so. All the preparation and training that best coaches and facilities can offer will mean nothing if when the starting gun sounds I do not choose to run. In preparing to become Jesus’ apprentice, I recommend several steps. First pray. Ask Him to open your eyes so that you might gaze on the treasure. Ask Him to reveal the treasure’s glory, to allow it to steal your breath in amazement. Ask Him to stir love and joy as the response of your heart. Then, ask Him for the will to decide, to choose the path of the apprentice. At the end of the day, Jesus leaves that choice to you and only you can decide.
 Matthew 13:44
 Matthew 13:45-46