I hope everyone had a great summer full of sunshine, laughter, great memories, afternoon naps, and that incredible summer breeze! I had a little bit of all of those things and some much needed restoration and refueling as well as time to venture into a new beginning! – Dana
I have been working on a new project and it is quite the undertaking. I am pretty excited to announce that if all goes as planned, I should be publishing a book, “Being Open with Your Broken”, in the spring of 2017. However, as any work of faith it comes with much resistance and struggle from the enemy. Ah, but that is when we know we are on the right track! It has almost become a sign to me as I pursue this new line of ministry, as if a child playing hot or cold, when resistance is strong, then I know I am working on something really good! But it did inspire this blog post: He Honors Discipline. As I just finished up the Intro, Segue, and Chapter One, which will prove to be the most difficult chapter to write, I realized that many times along the way I had absolutely no desire to move forward with this project. I have been met with a host of health issues (including two hospitalizations), scheduling nightmares, new massive projects at work that require major hours of overtime, and a host of other nuances that prove to be a nuisance when one is trying to complete such a work as writing a book! I slipped many times into a lull if you will, not in my faith, I am still as on fire for God as I ever have been, but in my desire for this specific project. When I thought about writing, I was completely and utterly deflated.
But now that I am over the hurdle, what I learned is this, it is very easy to become discouraged on a path that is filled with action and dedication without seeing immediate results. However, it is such discipline, those actions that are aligned with His will that reap the blessings of His promises. It is faithful discipline that is honored by God. Those who continue on, even when discouraged, those who praise His name, even amidst struggle, those who are lonely because they refuse to settle for less than His plan, those actions honor our Creator because they are fueled by the heart He created. Throughout the Bible there are endless examples of those who exercised discipline in Christ receiving a return of maturity in faith, a developed transformation specific to that of righteousness and His grace.
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11.
The greatest things we achieve are those that we had to work so hard to obtain. It is the fruit of our labor and sacrifice that tastes the sweetest, and rightfully so! This is just as true in every aspect of life including the work we do to fulfill God’s will.
“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” 2 Timothy 2:1-6
This Scripture teaches us many things about discipline. Suffering will be a given to those who are working to fulfill His will. During the time when Jesus walked this Earth, the struggle of following His will was far more difficult than today given the freedoms we have. And although we are allowed the freedom to follow God our societal battles and political correctness have made people feel the actions are something to be done in secret. Believers know that praising God, worshipping our Father, and practicing our faith is something we should shout from the rooftops! This holds true to the discipline we must have in following Him, regardless of the worldly pressures and popular demands. As it says in Timothy 2:1-6, even the athlete must go through many preparations and cannot achieve his goal if he does not abide by the rules set forth. This equally applies to the implementation of our faith. The blessings we have been promised are far beyond our comprehension. However, we must execute the discipline of faith and the guidance given to us in Scripture to be honored with such. I am blessed to have a circle of faith that I can rely on when my own discipline begins to waiver. A prayer request is a great and powerful tool to help release the bondage of the enemy over your energy, desire, time, and other footholds that may be preventing you from pursuing what God has placed on your heart to complete. Reach out to the people God has placed around you. Call on them for help, put your own power into prayer, and put your faith into action!
We are sharpened through struggle, our faith is strengthened through hardship and God wants us to be strong enough in our faith that we can manage the battles of life with God without losing sight of our devotion to God. So, in the words of my very dear and wise Pastor friend, we must keep on, keepin’ on.