Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Disciplined Body

I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27

Have you ever though about the fact that self-discipline doesn’t happen on its own? That to do the right thing consistently isn’t natural in the flesh? God knows this about us, and has given us the answer to submit to His will. Part of that answer is to discipline our bodies.

Discipline and training take practice. I means making the right choice over and over and over again. It means doing what needs to be done instead of what we feel like doing. It means not giving up when we mess up. And it means continuing to do it and being willing to step up to an even higher level of discipline once we’ve completed another. That’s what athletes do – they train consistently and are always moving to another lever.

Sound daunting? To me it does. To know that I have hard work ahead of me, and when I complete that, I’ll be faced with even harder work. As busy moms, that can make us tired just thinking about it. But, it’s what we’re called to do. But why? The second part of the verse answers that question. We don’t want to be disqualified. As moms, that means we don’t want to be disqualified from receiving respect, love, and the obedience of our children.

While it’s difficult to do what we know we should do (laundry, cleaning, quiet time with the Lord, straightening up – again) instead of what we want to do (read a book, check email, sit with a quiet cup of coffee and a chick flick), the rewards for doing the right things are endless. When our actions match up with our priorities, peace and joy will follow. One of those benefits is having our children see us as genuine. If they know that we mean what we say and say what we mean, they will love us, have respect for us, and be more likely to obey us.

But, most of all, they will give credibility to what we teach them about God – then we will not be disqualified after preaching the gospel to them.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Receiving Nothing From God

That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:7-8

The first verse is scary to me. When I recognize everything God has given me, I abhor the idea of Him removing His favor and gifts. I'm not talking material things, although He also provides those, but the times He's moved in my life and brought me to places I couldn't have imagined. The peace, the joy of His presence, small (in my sight,they're all small to the creator of the world) miracles. If I got to a place where I didn't expect to receive anything from God, I'd be hopeless indeed.

This verse comes on the heals of "when you ask, believe and do not doubt." It's doubt that often keeps us from receiving the things God has in store for us. The already gift-wrapped packages we refuse when we don't believe Him.

Recently, I experienced a moment of doubt. Not in God, but in what He was going to do. I said I trusted Him, I encouraged others to trust Him, but I still tried to work out a few details on my own. Fortunately, God showed me very quickly that He is in charge and would take care of things His way. He might even have a better plan than mine. I stepped out of the way. I'd rather have what He has in store.

My desire is to be the opposite of double-minded and unstable. I want to believe God and walk on the firm footing of the path He's prepared for me. Sometimes I stumble, but I refocus my eyes on Him and pray for Him to help my unbelief, and He gently nudges me back on His path.