We think of those having discipline: the Royal Guard who isn’t allowed to move or speak while on duty, the person who wakes up early every day to exercise in order to lose weight and get fit, the musician who spends hours on their instrument practicing again and again, the soldier who follows orders at the expense of his comfort and desires. These are examples of those who have discipline. They have disciplined their bodies, their minds, their spirits to act a certain way, to accomplish a certain task, to do what is needed right now instead of waiting for later.
If we look closely at the word disciple, we can see the word discipline. Discipline being about learning to behave a certain way, and disciple being the one who learns to behave that certain way. The very nature of the disciple of Christ is discipline. One who learns to behave in the ways of Jesus Christ. –To be patient in the midst of a hurried world, to be joyful in a world of suffering, to have love when we are surrounded by hate. How disciplined are we? The degree to which we are disciplined is the degree to which we are a disciple. We like to claim that we are disciples, yet we show a huge lack of discipline in reading the Bible, praying, fellowship, humility, patience, serving, sacrificing, tithing… even the simple discipline to be quiet during a church worship service. That list could go on and on.
I am guilty of it. There are so many areas in which I lack discipline. But I hope to change that. I, as a Christ follower, must do better. We, as a church, must do better. Start by being disciplined in reading and seeking the Word of God daily and in praying in all circumstances for all things. Disciples are not only those who like Christ and want to follow Christ, but those who are disciplined to be like Christ. Discipleship is the process of being disciplined. Is your being a disciple being evidenced by your discipline?
-Young people, myself included, always seem to think that we know everything. Driven by our passion we brush aside the advice of those who are older and wiser than we. When asked why we fail to heed advice, we give answers such as “They’re washed up” or “They are no longer in touch with the times.” Yet the truth may be that we are out of touch with God and they are.
-How would you describe your attitude towards senior adults?
-Think of two or thee seniors you know. What might getting to know them better add to your life?
What are some ways you can make sure your purpose is aligned with God’s purpose?
-I wonder how many Christians actually spend time studying the Bible. If we never spend time studying God’s word, how can we know we are fulfilling God’s purpose? I find it ironic that many people pray for God’s will to be done, but then they never have any of their personal prayers answered. Is it because their own prayers do not align with God? Is their first prayer voiding their own personal requests? We need to study God’s word and get to know Him so that we may align ourselves. We need to pray more and truly put God first in our lives.
How often do you spend time earnestly praying to God?
Why does God sometimes set tasks before us that seem too big for us to overcome?
-I believe God does that because He wants us to rely upon Him. He wants us to be obedient. If I was asked to march around a city in order to bring down its walls, I might be a little skeptical that it would work. At the same time, I would probably be concerned on how I would take down this city through strength of arms. In the end though, I think it would be smarter to rely on God in the end. Especially since we know how He has provided for us throughout history.
What walls are you facing right now that God wants you to topple with His help?
Romans 5:3-4: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
-If we never undergo hardships, do we ever truly grow? Yes and no. If we never undergo suffering, we may undergo physical growth, but our entire existence would have never been tried.
-When I workout, I realize that if I don’t get a good workout in, I feel a little empty. I feel this way because I didn’t make myself suffer enough! For a body to reach a certain conditioning point, it must be put under stress and forced to function in duress. If it is never put through such exercises, then when it is, it won’t be able to survive.
-Our Christian walk is like that. If we never get to test our mettle in the “shadow of the valley of death” then we’ll never know if our faith is true. True faith shines through even during the hard times.