Discipline: n. 1. Training that is expected to produce a specified character or pattern of behavior, especially that which is expected to produce moral or mental improvement. 2. Controlled behavior resulting from such training. 3. A systematic method to obtain obedience. 4. A state of order based upon submission to rules and authority. (Webster's Dictionary)
This word keeps finding its way in front of me lately. Discipline. I find myself desiring to get my house in order, my finances in order, my physical body in order, my spiritual life in order. God laid it on my heart a long time ago to get my life in order, but He didn't give me a whole lot of instructions beyond that.
The house and finances are probably the easiest of the four and the ones that are most in order thanks to FlyLady.net and Financial Peace University. My physical body is a little tougher. After 40 things fall apart faster and take longer to put back together. On top of that, my natural tendency is to go for the frozen M&M peanuts and a great cup of Starbucks coffee and sit down - hopefully with a good book. Exercising is something I desire from afar. However, I have started and committed to exercising at least 20 minutes a day, 4 - 6 days a week. I am also drinking more water and trying to eat healthier. I have two very motivating factors. 1. My body is God's temple and I need to take care of it. 2. I want to be attractive and healthy for my husband.
Okay - that's 3 of the 4. Then there are the spiritual disciplines. These are the easiest and the hardest at the same time. Easiest because I desire to know God and His Word more intimately. Hardest because they involve sacrifice and commitment. The areas I most want to work on right now are: journaling, scripture memory, scripture study, solitude/silence, and prayer. There is so much to be learned and to be gained spiritually in each of those areas. I know I can't tackle all the spiritual disciplines at one time, so I will start with what God is drawing me to.
God knows my heart and my passion. He knows how much I want to know His Word and how desperately I want to teach it and be in ministry for Him. So as I think about the word 'discipline', I have to wonder if I am showing Him that I am faithful, dependable, trustworthy, and committed. Can He trust me with an assignment to minister to His people? Can He trust me to follow through when things are difficult? I pray the answer is "yes". But no matter what the answer or the calling is, He alone is reason enough for me to practice the spiritual disciplines. The reward is a more intimate relationship with Him and honor to Him. Oh Glory to God!
Father, help me. My flesh isn't very fond of discipline. But Lord, I want more of you. I want to be a good steward of ALL that you have given me: my health, my family, my finances, my home, my time and ministries. I want my spiritual life to be in line with your Word. This life is but a vapor and I don't want to meet you face-to-face someday and realize all that I missed out on in this earthly life because I lacked discipline. So Father, teach me, instruct me, guide me and remind me that where I am weak, you are strong. Lord, may your will be done in my life in every area and may my life be a pleasing sacrifice to you. Amen
Humbly your daughter,