Training In Staying Disciplined
by Christine Jayakaran
When watching any sports, we see how athletes perform on the field based on the intense training that they have gone through behind the scenes. The training differs for every athlete based on their sport and prowess. Not only are they trained to excel, but they are also trained to be disciplined. They need to work out for a specific number of hours every day while also eating a carefully prepared meal. These are non-negotiables. For the Christian, most of our training happens in the barren lands of the wilderness. We are trained to grow into maturity and step into all God has called and created us for.
The training we go through will bring about discipline in our lives. The wilderness will force us to look at each day through a critical lens. We will find a lack of discipline in different areas of our lives. The main area God will want to revitalize in our lives is our spiritual disciplines.
Spiritual disciplines mostly revolve around God and you. It will need intentionality and regularity, for starters. A standard quiet time every morning is a good place to start. It doesn’t have to stay there forever, though. The spiritual discipline of setting aside time to read God’s word, pray and allow him to speak to you is vital to every season of the Christian life. The wilderness is a great place to initiate and grow these disciplines. Psalm 81 indicates to us God’s desire for his people to listen to his life-giving advice and the promise of blessing and victory when we do so.
Another vital discipline is including in your weekly schedule a day for rest. The Sabbath was instituted by an all-knowing God who was sure of how much rest we would need for our spirit, soul, and body to recuperate after a full week of work. These disciplines are not meant to become empty, repetitive rituals but meaningful times of deep communion with God.
If you and I don’t develop these spiritual disciplines in the wilderness, there is a possibility we won’t develop these in the seasons to come.