Discipleship can be difficult in an age that is not only results-driven, but craves instant results. In general, we are a people who are obsessed with convenience and efficiency. Therefore, when it comes to discipleship we have to take the long view. Often, the results (or fruit) we are hoping to see in discipleship don’t come as quickly as we’d like. Jesus’ parable of the sower is helpful with His use of agricultural language (Mk. 4:1-20). There’s sowing and watering and then waiting…waiting on God to give the growth (1 Cor. 3:6). As a people committed to disciple-making (evangelism and discipleship) we must faithfully sow the word and ask the Lord to give the growth, all while trusting His sovereignty and timeline (Mk. 4:26-29).
In his book, Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus, Mark Dever says it this way:
We don’t always see immediate fruit. To disciple, you must be like the patient farmer who plants his crops, trusting that they will eventually spring up. We trust God to use his Word, even if we never see the fruit. As one writer said, “The seed may lie under the clods until we lie there, and then spring up!” (pg. 34, emphasis original)
Let’s be faithful and diligent to plant and water asking God to give growth knowing we may not see the fruit in our lifetime.