Even AFTER posting yesterday’s message–As soon as things are under control I will commit to SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE–my mind kept pushing out new thoughts like a Pez Dispenser. It wasn’t long before “As soon as things are under control” morphed into “NO! You Will NOT Get Around to It.”
That did not surprise me because I was an expert at “not getting around” to spiritual discipline. In the years AFTER I gave my life to Christ and BEFORE my complete surrender, “I’ll get around to it” was one of my favorite excuses for putting off the day I would fully commit to SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE.
Maybe that’s YOU today.
It’s dangerous to put off committing to SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE and assume that responsibility ourselves. It produces extreme pressure to make sure “everything works out” according to our plan and our to-do list, and it never really does.
“Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.” Jeremiah 10:23
Playing that “Boss Role” forces us into a “life-management system” with two tracks: 1) The FUTURE TRAP of viewing everything in terms of what’s ahead to beat back the pain of what’s behind; and 2) The PERFECTION CHASE for tomorrow to overcome the imperfections of today.
THE FUTURE TRAP
God wants us to enjoy our life NOW, not someday down the road. I call it the “I’ll be happy when…” delusion:
I’ll be happy WHEN I go on vacation…get a new house…get a new car…get to retirement.
I took that approach LITERALLY in my life. Many vacations and houses and cars later, I was blessed to leave that thinking behind and move forward with a new inspiration that can be summed up with these words that God used to transform my walk with Christ:
Subordinate your EXPECTATIONS of what you want and, instead, concentrate on being EXPECTANT of what God wants and can do in your life. What he wants for you is far better than anything you can dream up on your own.
The ONLY way to reach that goal is to commit to SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE and release control to God.
THE PERFECTION CHASE
In addition to a “future fixation,” putting off committing to SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE will push us to chase perfection (Philippians 3:12, below).
Instead of claiming to be perfect now, Paul continues to pursue becoming more like Christ. But he knows that is impossible without fully releasing control to God and committing to SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE.
I ask God to give me the strength to push back when I’m tempted to take control and live for the future and strive for perfection. To help me look to him when that happens so I can re-commit to SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are you living for the FUTURE today? Striving for PERFECTION? What one thing can you do THIS WEEK to break that pattern and fully commit to SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE?
“I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself.” Philippians 3:12