Tiyia Beach is the person who wants to help you in your hour of need. She enjoys chatting with strangers and helping people find meaning in their lives. She is passionate about sharing God’s love and praying for people. She hopes to pursue a master degree in psychology to sharpen her research skills. She currently works part time at GLEC, an interdenominational mission agency, as a seminary administrative assistant.
One of the most important questions Christians often ask themselves is “How can I improve my relationship with Jesus?” Unfortunately, this self-reflection sometimes results only in a renewed focus on personal prayer and devotions. Ministering to others is often times an overlooked stepping stone on the path to Jesus. I myself came to realize the importance of discipleship last summer.
Some months ago, I was chatting on Facebook with a new friend whom I’ll call Rose (make up name) . Rose had just started coming to my church. During the course of our chat, she took me aback when she suddenly suggested, “I think we should hang out sometime, because I think I’ll be able to learn something from you”. Amused at such a thought, I immediately laughed out loud, and then promptly told her that I didn’t think that I had anything to offer her.
Several days later, and still amused by Rose’s suggestion, I shared this conversation with my friend, KC, who has been doing discipleship for quite some time. He looked directly at me and assured me I do indeed have something to offer and that I must pour out myself to others. I was surprised to hear this. I had always felt I didn’t know enough and could not really lead someone–even though for months in conferences, in church, and even through prophetic prayers, I have been repeatedly encouraged to disciple others. In spite of the fact that, for quite some time, I had already known that it’s important to not only to receive, but also for us to pour out ourselves, but still did not do much in this area for half a year. Moreover, during this period of time I felt so much fire in my heart and in my belly that I felt I could not contain it anymore. I knew that I needed an outlet; I needed recipients and beneficiaries on whom I could pour out upon the blessings with which God had been blessing me. Yet, I still felt uncertain about actually discipling and mentoring someone myself.
Although it was out of amusement that I shared with KC that Rose thinks she can learn something from me, I ended up discovering that God’s plans for us don’t always match our preconceptions. This incident took me on a new adventure. KC asked me, “What is your DNA? What do you think God has given you?” I answered, “I know that I love to pray”. I was challenged to ask Rose if she would like to commit to following a 21-day devotional called Prayer Driven Life with me. I asked her that very day about it and she agreed. Because Rose was not in the States during the summer, we stayed in contact with each other through Skype and Wechat in order to pray and to share our thoughts about the reading of the day. Although we both had many things going on in our lives every day, we still made growing together in prayer these 21 days our priority. As a result, I saw her desire and understanding of prayer grow, and mine as well. Her hunger for God stirred up a deeper desire in my heart for more of Him. After these 21 days my life was never the same. I understood the importance of receiving from God and pouring out His blessings onto others. I understood what it means to co-labor with God and share His joy. After a few days break, I did the 21-day prayer-driven life book with another friend. Again, I saw someone’s life change right before my eyes. I saw my friend’s relationship with God deepen and her prayer life shift from self-focused prayers to God- focused prayers. I saw growth in intercession for people not yet saved, for schools, cities and nations.
Also during this period, a friend for whom I had been praying and trying to lead for months suddenly called me up and suggested that we should arrange a time to study the Bible and pray together. I asked if she would also like to follow a 21-day Prayer Driven Life with me. I prayed for God’s truth and love to be revealed to her. Within the first few days of praying together, my friend’s life started to be transformed. Her devotional life changed, her desire for God increased, and she started to understand God’s love for her. God is faithful. He does amazing things and is delighted to use us as His vessels. For a few straight months, I witnessed encounters and transformation taking place in the lives of those around me. I was blown away every single week because of what was happening. I stand in awe of who God is and what He is able to do. I encourage everyone who is reading this to step out and start doing discipleship or be discipled by someone. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands us: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”