Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].
In Matthew 28:19 Jesus told His disciples to go and make disciples. Many think that being born again means you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, but in fact you have only taken the first step in becoming a disciple. In Luke 6:40, Jesus said those who are disciples, who become completely trained, will be just like their teacher. A disciple of Jesus becomes like Jesus. What a promise.
In scripture we find four growth stages for the believer. You begin as a convert, turning (converting) from the ways of the world. Then you become an epistle, a living letter as you learn who you are in Christ through the letters of the New Testament and begin to be transformed through the renewing of your mind. If you continue to grow in God you become a disciple. Sounding and acting like Jesus. Finally you find your ultimate ministry within the body, functioning in the gifting God has given you. But to become a disciple takes one key element as revealed in the above scripture, “desire”.
You will notice it goes on to talk about denying your own interests, taking up your cross, which is fulfilling God’s will for your life, and then following Jesus. But without a desire to do so you won’t become a disciple. Becoming a disciple is the goal. Just like any other pursuit in life if you don’t have a passionate desire to be like Jesus, now fulfilling your God-given purpose to be a disciple, it won’t happen. Without that desire you will not do what it takes to honor Him with your life, living as He lived. What’s your desire? For every believer it should be to live like Jesus.