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The number one characteristic of a disciple

Unsplash/guille pozzi
Unsplash/guille pozzi

I was recently in Atlanta visiting my family, and like many family gatherings, we reflected on the things we used to do when we were little and the places that were special to us. While there, I celebrated my 40th anniversary of knowing the Lord. I asked my family about a store called TSS, which was where I first gave my life to Christ. They mentioned that it had been torn down and replaced with another store. But even though it is no longer there, it will always be a location to remember. Throughout our lives, we all have those places that hold a special significance to us.

It might have been where we were proposed to or where we heard devastating news. Similarly, our spiritual lives will have their own landmarks as well: where you got saved, where you got baptized, or where you went on a mission trip. But the most important place you have to have seated in your heart is the place where you and God talk.

There was a study done with 10,000 churches where they studied the characteristics of a disciple and the number one characteristic was that the person spent time with God daily!

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The most important thing we can do every day is spend time with God. I encourage you to find a place that you establish as your meeting place with God. Then, designate a time that you are going to fellowship with God and develop a routine. The key factor is to be consistent. I also like to have an empty chair that represents where God is sitting. It reminds me that when I don’t show up, I am leaving Him hanging.

When we start our mornings with God, we will have a supernatural day. We put ourselves in a position for God to do something supernatural in our lives when we spend time with Him. If we want to be a follower of Christ, we need to take initiative.

Here are some of the things that I do during my time with God to create a marvelous morning.

  • First, I set aside time for intentional prayer with God. We want to look at the example that Jesus set out for us when it comes to spending time with God. Mark 1:35-39 shares, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place…”  Jesus prayed in the morning. Jesus prayed throughout the night. He prayed in joyful times and stressful times. If Jesus prayed in all of these times, how much more should we pray?
  • Second, before I go to bed, I establish a time that I’m going to get up. What time are you going to set your appointment with God? Write down or put in your planner what time you are committing to meet with God. We can come up with a list of excuses for things we have to do. Let it motivate you to get up earlier. There is nothing more important than the time we daily spend with God.
  • Next, I establish a place where I meet with God. It can be your living room, a park, your car. It does not matter. Try to find a place that is distraction-free so you can focus on what God has for you.
  • Then, I make sure I have my Bible, notepad, and worship music set up. You don’t have to wait for a Sunday service to worship God! Read something, reflect on what it meant, and then respond. Think about how you will apply it to your life. Ask God to speak to you as you read and reflect.

When you spend time with God, it will equip you for your day. It will help you face the unexpected challenges that life holds. As we spend time with God, He will equip us for ministry. You will be able to hear His voice amidst the chaos.

If you want to learn more about discipleship and how to strengthen your relationship with God and others, visit

Miles McPherson is the Senior Pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego. He is also a motivational speaker and author. McPherson's latest book “The Third Option” speaks out about the pervasive racial divisions in today’s culture and argues that we must learn to see people not by the color of their skin, but as God sees them—humans created in the image of God.


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