It has been said, Discipline is
1) Choosing to eat what we need instead of what we crave.
2) Choosing to do what we need to do instead of what we desire or what we feel like doing.
With that in mind, it is important to reflect on what exactly our need is, concerning how we have been maintaining discipline in our way of life as disciples of Christ.
I know it’s hard to focus on our shortcomings or weaknesses when we are convinced that we’ve been giving our best surviving various circumstances and sudden turns and jolts this journey of life threw our way.
But what if reflecting on how we maintain our discipleship is the need of the hour?
What if doing that is the need of our life at this point?
What if doing that is the blessing that would take us onto the next and whole new level of understanding God and gaining deeper insights on who He is?
What if doing that is the answer to our prayers?
What if considering all of the above question and doing the needful is the discipline we need at this point in our lives?
It is also important to understand that our progress in material and physical things is not God’s purpose for our lives but rather a means to help us in maintaining our discipline and to get us to where He wants us: Total submission to His Will in obedience and total trust in Him (i, e, Discipleship).
This self reflecting thing or daring to look deep within ourselves is honestly, exhausting and sometimes excruciating but needless to say, the need of everyone who calls Christ ‘Lord’.
My personal experience taught me that every time I manage to muster up the courage to look deeper within me and learn about myself and my weaknesses, I always found myself uncomfortable and humbled and taught. But then, these experiences also ushers in more revelations from the Holy Spirit, which enabled me to access the deep things of God. Choosing to be in immense discomfort usually led me to knowing the Love, Grace and Mercy of God deeper, wider and higher! We must get used to the fact that there is always a price to pay along the way to Heaven but let me tell you it is so worth it! I have had to lose and forgo many things I clung but I have absolutely no regret because I’ve gained uncountable goods things that I needed and dare I say began to ‘enjoy’.
Anyone who has accepted Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord is a disciple of Christ. And that makes many of us ‘disciples of Christ.’ As His disciples, Jesus Christ commanded us to remain in His Love and be willing to learn His Will. Otherwise we wouldn’t survive any discipline that is not taught to us in His love: His Love which He had lavished on us is the pre-requisite that He has arranged for us to do His will, even though we often misuse it to quench the thirst of our flesh: the very flesh that the Apostle Paul said ‘ I beat it to make it my slave’, is an example for us to imitate.
The desire of the flesh includes every thought and everything else that we want to oblige but contradicts the will of God laid down in black and white in the Bible.
So, how do we remain in His Love?
-By keeping His commands.
How do we keep His commands?
-By obediently remaining in His love, which is to keep engaging in essential things like praying and reading The Word (Bible) everyday. And most importantly, making deliberate choices in alignment with the Word of God and to continually make conscious efforts to apply it in our daily life dealings and situations within ourselves and also with other people. It is hard work but the most worthwhile endeavour that we can take on that has everlasting implications.
The gospel doesn’t always feel good, which is contrary to what most people today believe and want. Jesus said ‘enter the narrow gate’ which is real work and requires effort (i, e, discipline). But we must also rest in the assurance that the one who commanded us to enter the narrow gate is the Saviour of the world who gave himself up for us. He gives us His body and blood as food and drink for our journey as disciples that will eventually take us to our final destination, which is perfect fellowship with the Father.
Discipleship is hard-work, so is everything else in this world that is worth pursuing, especially God. The fruits of hard-work is as always immensely satisfying and usually brings in good dividends. Nobody has ever gained anything good by choosing to be idle and without a care.
Discipleship is indeed a very challenging work but nothing is more worthwhile than labouring for Christ to be the Lord of our lives, having accepted His redemption. As we labour in denying ourselves everyday and carrying our own cross, we can rest assured in the fact that we do not run the race in this journey aimlessly. And we have hope even if we haven’t run the race today or yesterday or in a while because God is full of Grace and Mercy and is always by our side ready to help us whenever we are willing to resume the journey. Remember, He is faithful.
The question remains: Have we at least tried?
And our concluding question to reflect on is this: Have we been maintained our discipleship with discipline?
Bible reference: Galatians 5:17, 1 Corinthians 2:10, Psalm 119:9-12, John 15:9-12, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, James 2:14-26, John 6:54.
– Chingngaihlian Tunglut
September 4, 2019/Article No. 02
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