“Refuse discipline and end up homeless; embrace correction and live an honored life.” (Proverbs 13:18 MSG)
The mere thought of discipline is not very popular today. We are impulsive pleasure seekers, living for the moment, looking for instant gratification without any restraints.
Everyone is always looking for the shortcut. We want to lose weight, but we don’t want to modify our eating, and we certainly don’t want to exercise. But in reality, we know that we will have to discipline ourselves to get in shape.
“No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined. One of the widest gaps in human experience is the gap between what we say we want to be and our willingness to discipline ourselves to get there” – Harry Emerson Fosdick.
A sign of spiritual growth is a recognition that you need to grow spiritually. The moment you feel as though you have somehow arrived—or have somehow reached a plateau where you don’t need to practice the Christian basics anymore—is the moment that you enter a spiritual danger zone.
If you want to be successful at anything, it comes down to discipline. To be successful spiritually, it requires a combination of turning away from what would hurt you spiritually and embracing what would help you.
As the Scripture above shows – the alternative to discipline is disaster. Living without disciplines is like living without exercise. Just as we need physical exercise to maintain our physical bodies, so we need spiritual exercises such as prayer, study, solitude, and simplicity to keep in shape spiritually.
What spiritual exercise program do you need to join? What entangling sin do you need to throw off?
Only disciplined training in God’s gymnasium will prepare us for the challenges ahead.
Lord Jesus, show us the spiritual exercises we need to develop to be fit for your service. Help us to train faithfully so that we are in tune with your design for our lives. Amen!