Good Folks, it is the last Friday of the month of June 2019. In a recent reading of one of my devotional books I came across something I wanted to share with you. Enjoy.
When we begin to ask what the conditions of inner renewal are, we receive essentially the same answers from nearly all of those whom we have most reason to respect. One major answer is the emphasis upon discipline. In the conduct of one’s own life it is soon obvious, as many have learned the hard way, that empty freedom is a snare and a delusion. In following what comes naturally or easily, life simply ends in confusion, and in consequent disaster. Without the discipline of time, we spoil the next day the night before, and without the discipline of prayer, we are likely to end by having practically no experience of the divine – human encounter. However compassionate we may be with others, we dare not be soft or indulgent with ourselves. Excellence comes at a price, and one of the major prices is that of inner control.
We have not advanced very far in our spiritual lives if we have not encountered the basic paradox of freedom, to the effect that we are most free when we are bound. But not just any way of being bound will suffice; what matters is the character of our binding. The one who would like to be an athlete, but who is unwilling to discipline his body by regular exercise and abstinence, is not free to excel on the field or the track. His [Her] failure to train rigorously and to live abstemiously denies him [herself] the freedom to go over the bar at the desired height, or to run with the desired speed and endurance. With one concerted voice the giants of the devotional life apply the same principle to the whole life with the dictum: Discipline is the price of freedom. – From The New Man of Our Time by Elton Trueblood
I had the opportunity to further my education after high school. My parents, bless their hearts, worked long hours at the Fish Market so that their children could have what they themselves were not afforded: an education. But their efforts came with a great sacrifice of time, hard work and possible luxury for themselves. What they expected from their children was that we would make an attempt to graduate college and become self-sufficient. That required discipline of time in study, management of finances, since there were no conversations about student loans. Our tuition was literally paid in cash. The only credit I had while at Stephen F. Austin was a gasoline card.
This article hits to the crux of life in what is needed to achieve a desire goal: discipline.
Discipline can be something we talk about: noun. Or something we do: verb. Both are important.
Our spiritual life is personal, as we pray and relate to God. It requires to be focused and intentional, so that the goal is to bring to a state of order (verb).
Matthew 26:36; Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
Luke 18:1; Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.
Jesus called Disciples and showed them the disciplines necessary to remain strong and
faithful. May the God of great Love bless and keep you, now and always. Amen.
Blessings from Duncanville, Pastor Frank (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God. Wm. Carey