January 15, 2013
Discipline and Obedience
Discipline is the focus and obedience is the key. Two words that are often quoted and misunderstood and quite frankly may very well be overused because their importance is overlooked. These two attributes are absolutely imperative for our spiritual growth and are the fundamental foundation for our spiritual maturity. They are a must if we are going to succeed in becoming what God wants us to be.
After we come to a knowledge of our need of a savior and act on that by repenting and calling on the name of Jesus and accepting Him as becoming sin for us and receiving Him as the salvation of our souls and believing on Him we embark on a journey of continuing to be changed as we learn from God’s word and begin to apply it to our lives. We must be very careful and not become arrogant in our thinking and forget that we all are expected to continue to grow and that none of us have arrived or know all. God has a plan for all of our lives and if we will trust Him we will be able to fulfill both His will and His purpose in our lives.
The road we are called to travel has the potential to be trying to say the least. Parts of the road will be easier than others. There may very well be times that we might not recognize the road we are on because of the difficulties we face. God takes us through a journey of establishing what we are to do. There are some things He will establish in our lives as a foundation so He can take us further. He will begin to develop in our lives some areas such as being attentive, being content, learning forgiveness, allowing gratefulness, and trusting in His security. This foundation is the beginning of His fullness being established in us.
These foundational attributes that God is developing in us are disciplines and they are necessary changes that are contrary to our human nature. Because they are contrary to our natural human tendencies or nature the only way they are taken on to advocate substantial change is by obedience. I don’t know about you but for me that is one of the truths about God that revolutionized my life. I know that I was changed when I accepted Christ. There was a marked and dramatic difference. However what was also evident was that I still needed to grow and part of that growth was my responsibility. Obedience is the only way we learn Discipline.
Trust God. Follow God. Be changed. Learn His disciplines by becoming willingly obedient.
Man_Up and be the man that God wants you to be.
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December 2, 2011
Learn to discern the truth. It may not be as easy as it seems. When you hear only one side of the story is it the truth? It might be or it might not be but I can assure you of one thing. It will be biased. All of us have our own opinions on all things and all that we share will be slanted in that direction. Even if we do not share a falsehood we may lean in a direction that promotes our own agenda and others will as well. Deliberately work on ways to discern the truth. Prayer and dependence on the Holy Spirit might be a good place to start.
Make yourself accept the truth. If someone you believe in or trust tells you something does that automatically make it the truth? Or if someone you don’t trust tells you something does that make it not the truth. I believe that we must have people in our lives that we trust and that means until proven differently. One might even consider it this way as well. We need people in our lives that trust us and are willing to fight for us even if the possibility exists that we that we are in the wrong. Jesus did. He said father forgive them for they know not what they do. However that doesn’t change the fact that the truth is not established by the person who tells you something. The truth is the truth because it is the truth. Once the truth is established you must make yourself accept it regardless of what or who told you.
Once you have discerned the truth and come to a place to accept the truth you must discipline yourself to act on the truth. We don’t want to hear sometimes that we are wrong but that may be the truth. It may be difficult to accept but we must. Even harder is the assuming the position of acting on the truth. We are told that if we mess up we are to repent and if we wrong a brother we are to apologize and ask for forgiveness. To do that means to put ourselves in a vulnerable position. We run the risk of losing. That is why some can’t put themselves in the position of being disciplined. The outcome is potentially tragic. Is anything worth losing or missing out on salvation?
What we have described here in the simplest form is the steps of salvation. We learn the truth of the word. We accept the work of Christ. Then we submit ourselves to Him. Miss any of those steps and you are not in. It’s that simple.
Man_Up and be the man that God wants you to be.