Mar 19, 2014

To Be More Disciplined

This morning during my prayer time, I thought about why so many people ask for prayer to be more disciplined…me included. We want to have better and more consistent prayer lives. We want to eat better, exercise more, be more productive with our time.

If we sincerely want to be more disciplined, which we do, why is it so hard?

Because you’re making it too complicated. Being disciplined is about being a disciple. Who are you following? You’re looking out, you need to look up.

With that last line, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Once again, I found myself trying to figure out how to do everything instead of simply seeking God first.

As our Creator, God knows us better than we know ourselves. Often I’ve found myself pulled toward resources that look good, sound good, or have worked for someone else. Or I talk to a friend who had success with a particular method or practice. Without asking God about it, I tried to apply their success to my life.

And failed miserably.

I can’t tell you how many different types of eating plans I’ve tried! Vegetarian, meat-and-vegetables, high grains and beans, you name it, I’ve tried it. Until I started seeking God for what will work for me (and for Don), all my plans worked for a time. But all plans ultimately failed because I could not sustain them. With God’s help, we’re getting closer to eating habits that are right for us. He has spoken to us through books and through friends, and has helped us sort through sometimes conflicting information.

Being disciplined in any area of life requires us to first be Jesus’ disciples. We learn to be His disciples by reading, studying, and applying what we learn in the Bible. And we stay close enough to Him to hear His voice so we can follow where He leads us. 

In everything.

We are His disciples.

We become disciplined in His ways as we practice what He teaches.

With that focus, everything else falls into place. Jesus will lead us to the resources we need. Instead of trying to do everything perfectly, we learn to consistently apply principles to our lives. In the same way we learn to be Jesus’ disciples, we read, study, and apply what we learn from other “experts”.

We are their disciples.

We become disciplined in their teachings as we practice what they teach.

Being disciplined, or being a good disciple, does not mean we perfectly do everything we are instructed to do. It means we keep following the best we can, and we get up and keep going when we’ve fallen down.

Most of all, being a disciple means we take seriously the teachings and expertise of whoever we follow.

So choose carefully who you follow.

And put your greatest effort into being a disciple of Jesus.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: In what area of your life do you need more discipline?  How did God speak to you through this message? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


  1. Were you thinking of me this morning, Mary? :) I love your point about being a disciple first. Like you, I'm turning to all kinds of things to help me with my discipline problems. I'm praying about it - lots - and I know it's God's will for me. But...perhaps I'm spinning my wheels because I'm trying to obtain it through my own efforts. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers said that we too often make our fruit (for me, discipline) into our goal. Our singular goal should be to please God. When this is our goal, fruit will come.
    (Side comment - part of the reason our WW time draws on is because we enjoy each other so much. We do lots of laughing. I hope we can find a way to manage our time without squelching that.)

    1. That's an excellent phrase - making the fruit into our goal. Yes and amen, I lapse into that more often than not. I'll remember this phrase, Sherry, and hopefully it will turn me in another direction when I do...and give me a relieving chuckle at the same time.
      Thank you for sharing!!

  2. One funny thing; I only notice the areas where I am not disciplined. Not the areas where I am doing well. It's very discouraging! Thanks for the timely reminder, Mary. There's one undisciplined area of my life that's really bugging me. (And I haven't been 'looking up' at all! Maureen P.

    1. Yes, that's true, we tend to zoom in and magnify the negative vs. celebrating the positive. I have another post coming this week on something related :-).
      Thank you for commenting, Maureen - I appreciate your encouragement!


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