"What is spiritual discipline, and why is it important?"This was the question staring at me from the page of my small group devotional book. My first thought was that discipline is simply restricting or refraining from doing certain things (normally fun things). But as I continued to read I realized that my definition was like a stick figure next to a 3D superhero, totally deficient and lacking in comparison. During this last week I have been amazed at the way that different passages of scripture have popped out at me, all with the same overarching theme.
In sunday school we looked at 1 Timothy 4:7-8 and Luke 12:35-37 which is talking about watching, waiting, and being ready for the coming of the Lord. If you read the whole passage it talks about a servant who falls into lethargy because the master of the house was gone for so long. The scary thing is that I have let myself do the same thing. I can't even count how many times I have allowed myself to dabble in sin because ' I can always repent of it later.' This is not the mind of Christ.
As believers we are called to watch and be ready! Luke 12:40 warns that Jesus could come at ANY HOUR, we don't know when! It is this watchfulness and alertness mixed with the mentality of a dedicated runner (1 Corinthians 9:25-27; Hebrews 12:1-2) that turns a poky pining self denying stick-figure into an empowered joy filled super-christian. God calls us to be His soldiers. Watchful, ready, and disciplined. It is a beautiful calling. The difference is that while the stick-figure is struggling to obey a list of do's and don'ts in his own strength, the disciplined soldier has realized his weaknesses, surrendered to God, and obeys out of love, transforming into a God powered superhero. Which one are you?