DISCIPLINE or DESIRE?
Just the other day I heard the words again…
“I want to read my Bible every day, I really do, but I’m just not disciplined…”
And this from a woman who works out and eats healthy and keeps her multi-tasking life in incredible order and her relationships in tack.
I don’t think so.
In fact, I think this highly disciplined woman, who wishes she was more consistent about poking her nose in the Word every day, is believing a lie about herself.
And she’s not alone. I hear it all the time.
I wish… but I don’t… because I’m undisciplined…
Discipline is not the problem.
And the reason the desire isn’t there is not because she’s bad or unspiritual or less-than-what-she-ought-to-be.
It’s because she doesn’t know what she’s missing.
Because if she had any idea how rich and full and satisfying— how need meeting and spirit-lifting this treasure filled time is— she’d never miss it.
And neither would you.
For the first decade or so of my spiritual journey of following after Jesus, I tried to discipline myself to read my Bible. And most of the time I was able to do it.
After all, Phil had led me that way from the beginning of our relationship. Every morning of our marriage I saw my husband get up in time to open the Word and spend anywhere from a few minutes to the better part of an hour systematically working his way from Genesis to Revelation.
But, frankly, I dreaded that discipline. It felt like getting up early to do homework. Not fun. Boring. Work.
Every once in a while something from the words I read reached out and grabbed my mind. But usually it was another’s words, some sort of devotional guide that spoke the loudest. I learned, yes, but I was far from thrilled with the process.
It wasn’t until I fell flat on my face in failure that the Word of God began to come alive for me. Faced with a shattered good-girl image, I became desperate for something more. Desperate to hear God speak to my failure, to show me how to live, what to do, how to sort through my unmanageable feelings.
Kind of like Job:
I had heard about You before,
But now I have seen You with my own eyes.
I used to wander off
Until You disciplined me;
But now I closely follow Your word.
And so my dear, disciplined friends, maybe what we really ought to be praying for is more desire. Asking God to wake us up every morning with the anticipation of a child at Christmas. Expecting God to speak to us, to feed us, to refresh and revive us.
Maybe we should pray that God will bring us to that place of desire as He did David. “ I desire You more than anything on earth.” (Ps, 73:25)
From my heart,
repost, Oct. 2013