Discipline and consistency are the words that continue to echo in my mind. How crucial it is that we develop discipline and consistency whether in our studies, businesses, work ethic, fitness, healthy eating habits, etc. But it is especially important in our spiritual lives, yet we find (at least I do) that it is also the most difficult. I was reading a devotional that said, “Guarding the fire of devotion (towards God) in your heart is the most fundamental discipline of your life.” Wow, how true is this? You may be well-disciplined in all other areas of your life, but what does it profit you if you aren’t in control of the substance of your being, your soul.
Why then is it so hard to be disciplined in the area that many in the faith can agree is most important? 1 Peter 2:11 spells it out with piercing words. Peter is writing to his brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in pagan societies, and he urges them to live Godly lives so that the unbelievers may glorify God through their good deeds. He then says,
“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.”
There it is. That’s the answer. Our sinful desires are waging war against our soul. Our sinful desires are fighting to break us and make us fail in our faith. Our sinful desires will not rest. As long as we are in our broken condition, because sin is not just something we do, it is a state we are in until Christ returns for His children, sin will continue to attack to gain full control of our soul. In a war one is called to fight. Fight. FIGHT. I repeat it to instill this truth into my heart and mind and pray it becomes an action. We may acknowledge that we are called to fight, but we stop there. We don’t fight to fight. Truly this walk is for the courageous, but this courage depends on the Lord. This courage puts forth its best efforts, but knows its strength comes from God. This courage recognizes its weaknesses.
We must remember we serve a God of compassion who remembers we are dust. If we fail today, He gives us a second chance tomorrow. We have already won the battle. We fight alongside of the One who has conquered the world, the victorious One, the great and mighty God who has won the battle for us through Jesus Christ. We are just called to stand confident in this truth, trusting that God’s abundant love will not easily let us go. He is fighting too! He is fighting for you! But we also need to FIGHT. That may mean fasting once a week, early morning prayer, quiet times during your lunch. I can’t define what your fight for your soul looks like, but I know what’s required for my war. Are you willing to fight with me? Can we build spiritual lives that are consistent and well-disciplined?
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13-14
Prayer: Lord, help Your children. Help us fight this battle of faith. Place within us the spirit of a warrior. Remember that we are dust. Remember that we are at war against our sinful desires and be merciful towards us. Give us the strength we need today. Help us overcome today. We offer thanksgiving for Your patience and compassion and once again ask that You would forgive us, Father. May our hearts delight in You all the days of our lives. Amen.
May your day be graciously adventurous,
P.S. Happy New Year!!!