May the Peace and Grace of Jesus be with you.
Great things require great effort; there are no shortcuts to integrity.
Unlike the forgiveness of God, which is immediate, our path to integrity can last a lifetime. Discipline is one of the ‘heartbeats’.
In his book, Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster puts discipline into three categories: Inward, Outward and Corporate practices all discussed in 12 sections. This classic book, first published in the late 1960s has become the manual spiritual discipline with good reason.
The men and women of integrity that I know and pray with, spend time in prayer to God, they seek a private space and time to be intimate with Him regularly. Jesus, as busy and in demand as he was, took time to be with his Father privately.
In Luke 6, verse 12 (NAS), we read “It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God…” (after healing the man with a withered hand).
An athlete training for an athletic event, diligently, willingly, and consistently, rises early to train. Their diet reflects muscular development and their eye is constantly on the prize. (compare to Philippians 3:14)
Not only do we have to train well spiritually, but we have remove distractions. In our modern lives, that includes cellphones, television, sports (excessive), pornography, addictive behaviours, Facebook and Twitter.
Discipline is hard. Waiting on the Lord for wisdom, strength and guidance is hard.
Godly disciplines include other aspects such as keeping one’s thoughts pure and pursuing sexual purity in opposition to cultural norms.
Just as Joseph ran away from Potiphar’s wife when she tried to seduce him, we need to run from temptations that are common to man.
Run straight to the author of our faith. He will always be there.
Be blessed this week.
Tim Lasiuta is a freelance writer. You can send him religion column ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org