There's a trend at the beginning of January for many people to find a "word" for the year. This year, I decided to jump on that bandwagon and prayed that God would give me a good one!
Disciple was what I got.
Does that mean I'm to become a disciple or I'm to disciple others?
All was quiet on the Heaven front.
So, I decided that maybe I'm supposed to disciple younger women. I tried finding some in my church. I sort of stalked a few, hopefully without them knowing it. I just kind of watched and thought, "Hmmm...is it her?"
But no one asked and I didn't know how to ask, so it sort of got forgotten. Maybe I didn't hear God right.
Until yesterday when I started writing about routine. The post began to take another turn and I realized it was really two posts when I delved into the word, "discipline."
It's taken me ten months to figure out this word, but I finally got it!
There is joy in discipline.
Paul said to buffet our bodies...he wasn't talking about the all you can eat kind (credit for this one goes to Joyce Meyer). He was talking about discipline--the all you can handle kind of buffet. (I Cor 9:27).
A few months ago I began a personalized eating plan and stepped up my exercise in an effort not so much to lose weight, but to become healthy and to eventually get off the medications I was on. I figured that a great byproduct of that would be weight loss, but I didn't want to focus on that.
It has become a whole different lifestyle for me, one that I've actually embraced (and it's working!). But it hasn't been without hard work, determination, and discipline.
The discipline of right eating and exercise has actually overflowed into my spiritual life. Because my focus is no longer on food, I no longer spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about it. Food has become fuel for me, not an idol.
I have turned my focus to God, and the embers of faith that were once barely lit have been reignited. My passion for learning, for digging in the bible, for prayer, for teaching, for loving God and others is slowly returning. And with it, new discoveries!
Discipline and disciple come from the same Latin root, discipulus, meaning pupil. If we are to be disciples of Jesus, godly followers, we must become pupils, like His first followers, learning self-control and...well, discipline.
Because when we discipline--buffet--our body, mind and spirit, we are training ourselves to be godly (1 Tim 4:7).
Therefore, when one area suffers, they all do, because discipline is across the board.
If you can discipline yourself in one area of your life, you can discipline yourself in another. If you think you can't, then you haven't disciplined your mind.
In order to become a disciple, we need to learn self-discipline. It's interesting what Wikipedia has to say about this:
Self-discipline is, to some extent, a substitute for motivation.
Hmmm....So...I guess it's safe to say that motivation and self-discipline go hand in hand. You need to be motivated in order to discipline yourself, and you need to discipline yourself to be motivated.
What joy there is in discovering the meaning of "my word." Disciple=Discipline. God never explained it because He knew I wasn't ready to receive the meaning. I wasn't ready to break out of my unhealthy habits and take on something new. I wasn't willing to encounter Jesus in a radical new way.
Heaven was silent because I lacked the motivation to change. I was content to become a disciple as long as it didn't require much work on my part-as long as I didn't have to leave everything and follow Him.
Ha! That's the irony. It doesn't work that way. We must lay down our nets, whatever they may be, and follow.
There is a cost--the cost of our desire to be complacent. But oh, the joy of relinquishing that which we hold so dear-that which we think satisfies us only to discover the richness of a life fulfilled by becoming a true disciple-one who is motivated and disciplined.
What are you struggling to hold on to today? What "net" is Jesus asking you to drop to follow Him? I pray that you will find the strength, the motivation, and the discipline to relinquish that which you hold so dear and grab hold of the life that is meant for you-a life of abundant joy!
Blessings Along the Path,
sharing this blog with some of these lovely bloggers and with Write 31 Days
This is part of the Write 31 Days series. Click here to read other posts about Intentional Joy!
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
The Joy of Discipline
I'm a person of creativity. I've always loved to entertain people, and especially, to make them laugh. I don't mind being the guinea pig, the one who is singled out to break the ice. I write what you think but don't want to admit. I'm a word nerd and a grammar geek. I love musical theatre, hiking, and worshipping my Lord, my King-the King of Glory. It's my desire to bring hope and healing to hurting individuals-or perhaps just to provoke thought, to give an encouraging word to get you through the day-through everyday situations and insights into God's Word.