Early in my faith walk, I thought I knew everything about DISCIPLINE. I played football in college. I built a successful career as a corporate CEO. And I spoke about strategic discipline to marketplace companies around the world. I was disciplined.
It’s no surprise that I took that discipline into everything I did—including my faith walk with Jesus.
But it did not take long before I had to flip a very important switch from DOING to BEING.
I had taken my worldly view and practice of discipline into my faith walk by focusing on spiritual growth as a series of transactions (DOING)—praying, reading the Bible, tithing, fellowshipping with believers, and serving others through ministry.
I missed it by a mile because in all my DOING, I had left out the most important part—BEING. This is where our spiritual discipline leads to an intimacy with Christ that brings our life’s footprint into conformity with God’s will.
The four Spiritual disciplines are the action steps (DOING) which mold us into the character of Christ (the BEING) that Timothy described as “Godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7).
Spiritual discipline is the means to Godliness, not the end. A person is not automatically Godly just because he or she practices the spiritual disciplines (God’s Word, praying, tithing, and fellowship).
I ended up teaching the Spiritual Maturity Class 201 at Saddleback Church in Southern California—something I have been doing–and still do–every month for over 20 years.
My life has been transformed beyond anything I could have ever imagined by committing to spiritual discipline. But it was not easy and not automatic. It required a dramatic shift in my approach from DOING to BEING.
I ask God to remind me every day that spiritual maturity is being like Christ! That it is not automatic. And that it is a life-long process that takes a deep commitment to being disciplined.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
How would you rate your SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE?
“In the unity of common faith, and knowledge of the Son of God, we arrive at real maturity–the measure of development which is meant by ‘the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13