Friday, March 25, 2011

Discipline = Giving Up the Good and Better for the Best

As I was looking through my prayer journal, I came across this entry:

February 21, 2011
I want to be a woman after your own heart and you know my struggles. My struggle to fit in, to feel accepted and loved. You know the war I wager day after day to remain steadfast in you. Many days I fail terribly, others I feel invincible. All I ask is for consistence. I want to consistently grow in my desire to know and serve you.

This is where I am at this point in my life; desiring to be more consistent in all areas of my life. In my walk with Christ, as a wife, as a leader in our church and so forth. Yet I have found that my number one enemy begins with the letter d and it is called distractions. I am distracted by social media, namely Facebook, in which the minutes quickly turn to hours and are forever lost in cyber world yielding no significant value. Then there is my all time favorite: CrossFit. Unlike Facebook there is much value in seeking to live a healthier life and stay physically fit. However discipline is not about pursuing that which is good. Discipline is about giving up the good and the better for the best. And what is the best from God's perspective? Only that which we will be able to take with us to eternity.

Read what Paul says about it in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Paul encourages us "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Both of these passages exhort me to fix my gaze on Jesus and the things of eternal value, forsaking all others. I am to relentlessly pursue my Maker and His kingdom while counting everything else as secondary. In the words of the wise King Solomon, "everything is meaningless, a chasing after the wind."

So how can one leave that which is good and better for the best? Discipline is something that will be awarded and consequently holds much value before God. Yet we must be willing to pay the prize to achieve it. Like any athlete who competes and goes into strict training we must be willing to train ourselves and submit to God's will for our life whether it feels good or not. It is not something that happens overnight, just as an Olympic athlete will never win a gold medal without training hard and working diligently for it. Likewise following Christ requires much work on our behalf. We are to identify and remove all distractions so that we can better focus on our goal. It is only after one submits to Christ and finds joy in Him alone that Christ will grant us our heart's desires. He will be able to do so because our desires will be aligned with His will. Then and only then will Psalm 37:4 hold true: "Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart."

1 comment:

Aburtomichelle said...

I know i have distraction all over me all the time so much internet, people and so much more as i read this i realize iam angry at God I know why, but i refuse to confront this feeling therefore i use FB and many other media instead of focus on him I will keep pushing my self to confront this just like you my true desire is to be more like him to gain his wisdom and always trust in his will even if its painful