Got Discipline?

"Spiritual discipline" describes a way of life.

A fire built of fern soon dies out. Do not be like flotsam, going with every current, if you wish to persevere in devotion.

  - Comghall, Rule (Irish, 7th century)

For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

  - Galatians 6.8

Got discipline? Spiritual discipline?

No, I don't mean do you read your Bible some and have a little prayer each day. I mean, are you disciplined in your spiritual life, so that you are consistently sowing to the Spirit what the Spirit will use to help you grow in Jesus Christ?

"Spiritual discipline" describes not just a segment of your day, but a way of life. The person who is truly disciplined in his spiritual life lives each moment of his day "under the heavens," and not just "under the sun." He is aware of being continuously in the presence of God and of living for the glory of God at each moment, in each situation. But he also knows living this way is a work of the Spirit of God, and the Spirit requires certain components in order to do His work.

The person who has a disciplined spiritual life knows  that "pray without ceasing" is not just pious rhetoric. He also takes seriously the prophet's example of "eating" the Word of God - tasting, chewing, savoring, ingesting, and being energized throughout the day by the solid food of Scripture. "Make the most of the time" is the constant desire of the spiritually-disciplined man or woman.

A person who sows to the Spirit throughout the day brings forth, over time, the evidence of the Spirit's work in his life - fruit, gifts for ministry, power for witness, holiness that reflects the character of the Spirit Who is at work within. A life of spiritual disciplines can not fail to cause us to grow into the image of Jesus Christ and to have in our possession words and deeds to use in glorifying God before the people in our lives.

The person who plays at being a Christian actually "hates" discipline, at least, as the Lord sees it (Ps. 50.16, 17). Being a Christian may be OK and where that person wants to be. But without discipline there will be no growth, no fruit, and no evidence to suggest that his "Christian" life is anything other than a cultural accommodation.

Look ahead to your day: Do you see a person who is disciplined in the Spirit moving about in your Personal Mission Field, engaging the people around you, doing all things to the glory of God? Can you picture that person focused on the reigning King, communing with Him in continuous prayer, hearing the Word of God in each situation, sensitive to the promptings of God's Spirit, and looking for ways to serve others with the love of Christ?

And if not, then what do you see? And is what you do see what you really want to see?

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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