A “D” Word that’s Like a Dirty Word
Have you ever wondered if Christianity is too easy and that’s why it doesn’t have a magnetic pull? Maybe it’s not supposed to be such a comfortable religion? At least, that’s a painful revelation I got today, seemingly out of nowhere but not really. It’s a message God has been trying to get me to pay attention to, but I’ve had a lot of strategies for going around it, which amounts to disobedience. But “disobedience” is not the “four-letter” “D” word this article is about. The word is: Discipline.
Have you ever tasted something so bad that when you recall the experience years later, you still might say, “Blech”? Well, that’s how I react to God’s little reminders that He wants me to get out of my comfortable little cushy life and start practicing daily disciplines. These are things wonderful people all around me do every day of their lives. For me, they do not come easy. In fact, I will have to have a complete paradigm shift as a human being, to start living a disciplined life.
It’s So Hard!
Though I might say I’m a unique person, the truth is, we are all unique. One thing we aren’t supposed to do as Christians is to hang on to the last vestiges of ourselves in lieu of being conformed more into the image of Jesus. I am an artistic person. Each day is a fresh canvas. Performing daily tasks outside of meals, reading at least one daily devotional, and tooth brushing is as foreign to me as if I were literally from another planet. Getting into the groove of doing all those important little things that should be done daily, to be a responsible adult, has been impossibly difficult. Thank the Lord, He is the God of the impossible.
Take it Like a Woman
If I were a man, I’d say to take it like a man. But I’m a woman fully aware that I am constantly surrounded by amazing women who take care of everyday minutiae without batting an eye. God isn’t trying to fit me into any mold other than the likeness of Jesus Christ. We are all individuals, but that doesn’t mean we are supposed to pull back on doing uncomfortable, difficult, painful, unpleasant, boring things that seem out of character.
There are tasks to be done, floors to sweep, and prayers to pray. More importantly at this juncture, there are levels of exercise to maintain. I heard God’s voice today, like a curtain being pulled back. He told me to discipline my body as described in the Bible.
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. -- 1 Corinthians 9:27 New King James Version (NKJV)
Shut Up, Flesh
The spirit of God within us doesn’t truly emerge as a powerful force in this dark world as long as the flesh is calling most of the shots. I urge you not to be like I’ve been for a tragic amount of time. Don’t let yourself be deceived into thinking you’re a spiritual person because you read your Bible every day and have Jesus on your mind. The mind and body must obey, which creates harmony. We must be disciplined so that our flesh is tamed and the spirit can do God’s work through us.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. –Galatians 5:16
Discipline Yourself Already!
That’s what I heard God say today. And what am I going to do about it? I’m determined to be different. Since I’ve been making other real changes that close family members have seen all year, I have faith that I’m ready. (Cue the Rocky music.)