Discipleship: Spiritual Discipline
As we continue talking about discipleship, let’s look at spiritual discipline. In the previous week, Jordan mentioned discipline and what it looks like. He talked about the discipline of athletes. It provided a great image of training our bodies to run the race, and in the same manner we are training our spirit to be Christ-like until heaven comes. What is discipline? There is a misconception about this word because it feels like a punishment. When children get out of line, the parents discipline them. This is the feeling we get when we hear discipline. Let’s broaden the word. In martial arts, there are disciplines of style. In academia, there are disciplines of degree. In science, there are disciplines of field. Looking at the word broadly, discipline is not defined as punishment but as focus and control.
Let’s take a look at 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
The two main points in that passage is: focus and control. The focus is not on the world but on God. The control is with a purpose of self and not others. This means that when we were disciplined by our parents, it was to help us focus on what is right and to control ourselves. It was not just a punishment for wrongdoing. What is spiritual discipline? Spiritual discipline is focusing on God and having self-control. The idea is to let God discipline us so that we can grow to be more like Him. It may be hard at the moment to be disciplined, but the end result is that we grow closer to God (Hebrews 12:11). God the Father wants what is best for His children and He wants us to fully love Him. He wants us to focus on His word, His voice, and His will. He will help us control ourselves so we can focus on Him. Spiritual discipline is a daily communication with God in many different ways and a daily commitment to God. It is also healthy habits that we build. Spiritual discipline is having healthy habits just like athletes training their bodies. They need discipline to build their bodies just as we need healthy spiritual habits.
Guys, let’s take a step to focus on God today. We are all athletes in some way. We want to compete to win the prize. There is a prize that is worth more than we can imagine. Let’s take control of it and start the spiritual journey in being disciplined. How do we begin this journey? What are the spiritual disciplines? There are many spiritual disciplines that we can do. But remember that we can create healthy habits. As Jordan mentioned in his vlog, he challenged listeners and himself to wake up early and spend time with God. We can all find a time that is set aside to focus on God. In the process of it, we are developing self-control and creating a habit. Here is a list of things we can do to focus more on God and let Him speak into our lives.
- Bible reading
- Bible study
These are only a few things that I have done in the past that helped me grow closer to God. The goal is to grow closer to God through discipline and be transformed. Guys, we can do this. Let’s set aside a time to focus on God and create healthy habits. If anyone has questions about the list and how to do them, you can comment below or you can go to fconline.tv/contact/ or comment on our Facebook page.