Tuesday, June 04, 2013

My favorite dirty word: discipline

This morning as I was folding laundry and listening to the radio, I heard a song that in part says:

This world has nothing for me
This life is not my own
I know you go before me
And I am not alone
This mountain rises higher
This way seems so unclear
But I know that you go with me
I will trust in you

Whatever will come my way
Through fire or pouring rain
We won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken
Whatever tomorrow brings
Together we'll rise and sing
That we won't be shaken…

You know my every longing
You've heard my every prayer
You've held me in my weakness
Cause you are always there
So I'll stand in full surrender
It's your way and not my own
My mind is set on nothing less
Than you and you alone
I will not be moved…

As I thought about how important it is to live with the perspective this song communicates, and as I pondered how such a perspective can be held, that dirty little word came to mind: discipline.  I hate discipline.  It is painful.  I fail at it.  But the spiritual discipline that keeps us focused not on our current troubles while living through them, keeps us focused on this hour's joys and responsibilities and blessings from God instead  of worrying about the future, is absolutely necessary to godly, mature living.  It's no little matter, but it is the way we come of age in Christ. The spiritual discipline that keeps our eyes focused on Christ gets us through the tough times in life.  And we can't live successfully without it. 

And then I thought about one of my favorite psalms.  This is rich material for meditation to keep my focus today:

 For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will all of you attack a man
    to batter him,
    like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
    They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
    but inwardly they curse. Selah
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us. Selah
Those of low estate are but a breath;
    those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
    they are together lighter than a breath.
10 Put no trust in extortion;
    set no vain hopes on robbery;
    if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
11 Once God has spoken;
    twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12     and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
    according to his work.

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