Discipline is necessary for the Christian. But it must be discipline by and through grace and not discipline for the purpose of working for God’s grace. We discipline ourselves by the power of Christ through the motivation that comes by the Spirit of grace. When we work to earn God’s grace by our discipline, we get the Christian life backwards. This is why our daily pursuit and prayer is that God would satisfy our hearts with his presence so that we may be refreshed to follow him with great vigor, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, so that we may sing for joy and be glad all of our days” (Ps 90:14).
The Apostle Paul was an extremely hard working and disciplined person. But he realized that hard work comes from a spirit that is connected first and foremost to the grace and empowering presence of God. He wrote, ” We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” A wise man once told me that discipline that is not empowered by desire is drudgery. One time a few years back, my discipline was just that, drudgery. I realized that I was subtly working for grace instead of walking in grace. I needed to slow down and work on my heart for God. If you ever find yourself becoming bogged down in your walk with Christ, consider your motivations. Slow down. Do things that you enjoy–meditate on favorite verses, pray through the Psalms, get in nature, write a poem or journal entry…whatever helps you re-connect with the grace of your loving Father!
Click below to download a simple sheet to fill out with your ideas on how you can remain refreshed in God’s grace. Give one to a friend and put it close to your Bible. Pull it out when you sense you need to mix things up and stay refreshed in your walk with Christ.