Are We There Yet?



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

John 13:15

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”


It can be tempting to always look at the big picture, the five-year vision, or the end goal whether you are in corporate America, running a household, or just planning your life. It’s exciting to think about how great life will be when you see the vision fulfilled and you meet the goal. Don’t get me wrong, visioning is critical because you need to know what you want and where you are going, but there is no five-year vision without a daily plan to get there. You cannot cross the finish line without taking every step beginning at the starting gate, and we cannot be transformed if we do not surrender on a daily basis.

Today’s passage is short. You may be celebrating that fact or you may have thought we made a mistake accidentally deleting some verses. But today, I want us to marinate on these few words because they are deeply important. Every change in behavior, attitude, and heart begins with a desire, and it is only accomplished by making a choice every day to get there.

These words were spoken by Jesus to His disciples in the last week of His life. Jesus had proven His authority and He had predicted His death and resurrection. Now, as He spent a meal with them, He demonstrated an act of service and then said these words, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” He had given the example to follow. Not just what they observed that night, but every day they walked with Him and healed and taught and ministered to others. He was the example. They did not have to wonder what to do; they just had to follow.

As a young student learns to write, they are not given a blank sheet of paper and told to write the alphabet. No, they are given an example. They have lined paper as boundaries and they have dotted lines to follow in the shape of the letter they want to form. Each day they follow the example. Each day their lines become straighter and cleaner and are made with more confidence. As the days pass, they will be able to draw the letters without the dots. And then the paper will have fewer lines. Daily they practice and daily they become more like the example until one day they can write the alphabet on a blank sheet of paper.

Pastor Eugene Peterson, quoting Friedrich Nietzsche, might describe this daily practice of being altar’d as a “long obedience in the same direction.”1 It is only when we choose a life of daily surrender that we will fulfill the vision and accomplish the goal set before us. If you read the Gospels, you will find that Jesus gave us many examples of how to live:

“Follow me.”

“This is how you pray.”

“Go and make disciples.”

May we embrace a life of daily surrender that Jesus left as an example.


Lord, forgive us for not following Your example. Forgive us for each time we have not served and loved like You did. Continue to teach us how to live every day as a reflection of You. Amen.


What is one example that Jesus gave us that you want to practice this week? Where have you failed to follow the example of Jesus?

For the Awakening,
Susan Kent


  1. Eugene H. Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2019).


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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. Are We There Yet?

    Christ’s true disciples are living examples of people who have a heart that’s sensitive to, responsive to, and obedient to His presence and who continually surrender to be led by His Spirit, not by their own desires. Jesus tells His followers to, “Go and make disciples.” Before we can go and make disciples” we have to be one.

    Religious activity
    Without sensitivity
    To the reality
    Of Jesus
    Is empty.

    Let your heart be
    So you can sense
    Christ’s presence
    And truly be
    Of who He is.

  2. Jesus prayed: “May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they all also be in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.” (John 17:21) I am convinced that our human tendency to become tribalistic is the primary cause of the institutional church’s impotence in its fulfillment of the Great Commission. One of my primary goals in this life is to try facilitate the reconciliation of believers by accepting the the truth that there is only ONE, body, ONE faith, ONE Lord. Unfortunately, I find that I too, often fail to live up to that same ideal. This is when the Lord’s mercy and grace come into play.

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