Paul spoke of those who should be teachers but instead find themselves as one who needs to be taught. Unable to consume and comprehend the solid food of the Word of God, but only milk because they did not have listening ears. As a child’s diet begins with milk and needs to progress to solid foods, we must seek Him for solid food so that we may grow in His Grace and knowledge of Him. Without this and practicing it, we will not have our senses trained(discipline) resulting in our inability to even discern between good and evil.
There are many examples of the myriad endeavors of people which display the necessary disciplines to reach a desired outcome. A long distance runner must first be taught the required disciplines and then diligently practice them. Our ongoing practice of those disciplines are proof of the sincerity of confession and commitment. A new recruit goes through a proven method of basic training with the goal of training them to give their best chance of survival and victory. We have been given exceeding great and precious promises that guarantee our survival and victory. And if we practice them and they are increasing, we will not fail, but an abundant entrance will be provided.
The disciplines of discipleship are like a threefold cord that cannot be broken when they are properly woven together. Each is vitally important. Not one cannot be neglected or the cord will become weak and fail.
One of the initial instincts of a newborn child of God is to desire the sincere milk of the Word of God. We have to be fed His Word and be trained to then feed ourselves. For approximately two years Paul did not cease to disciple the believers in Ephesus going from house to house. He was teaching them the whole counsel of God. Though he was called to be an apostle to evangelize(going into all the world), make disciples, baptizing them into His Name, and teaching them obey all He commands us, he knew he would soon depart and never see them again here. Their dependence on him must decrease and He must increase in them. For He is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. Unlike this world where we are taught to mature and become independent, in His Kingdom we are saved from our arrogant independence and mature to absolute dependence upon Him. We must learn we can do nothing, no thing without Him. Search the Scriptures for Him, because He testifies to us about Himself through them. The Word of God, one of the disciplines of discipleship.
I believe the Gospels record only one specific request of the Lord from the disciples, ‘teach us to pray’. He taught a parable to teach us that we should always pray and not faint. Pray so that you do not fall into temptation. Again we are told to devote ourselves to prayer, pray without ceasing. The end of the list of the weapons of our warfare in Ephesians seems to be all tied together with prayer, at all times. Only He can truly teach us prayer. Prayer is a command. Prayer is one of the disciplines of discipleship.
His city where He dwells is with His people. We are told that His City is compacted together. His children have been brought to a Living Stone that we may be made living stones built up unto Him. His body is one, but made of many members. His Temple, made without hands, is made of many stones. We cannot grow unto Him alone. We must have the fellowship of those of like precious faith and our fellowship is with the Father. His purpose is for each joint and every sinew to be compacted together to supply one another with His strength. This fellowship, His Fellowship is one of the disciplines of discipleship.
Ultimately He alone can teach and instill in us these disciplines of discipleship. When we by His Grace do so in the obedience of faith by continually presenting ourselves as living offerings, He will bring forth the Fruit of Himself and it will remain forever. No one drifts to God, we drift away from Him. Unless we are actively exercising the disciplines of discipleship, we will begin to drift.