As I have been writing about freedom and striving lately, I thought I’d give my take on what we are free to do.
Rather, maybe I should explain myself better here. I would like to write about “disciplines”, and how we are free to engage in them. But first, I must explain my view of what a discipline really is. You can take this view and trash it if you like, it won’t bother me any.
As I have been coming to know the grace of God more each day, it has struck me that we have a somewhat backwards view of “discipline”. Bar none, every person I have talked with or written back and forth to has a negative view towards discipline. Some may view the actual result of discipline as something good, but every single person I have spoken with views discipline as hard work, as almost sacrifice, if you will. I have yet to meet the person who views discipline as a way of life, as a matter of natural course, rather than as something that takes incredible effort for “expected” yield.
One question I have is this; in your profession, can you come to the fullest expectation and appreciation of your field by a hit or miss philosophy? In other words, can you be as full in your profession as possible by doing as little as you can to get by?
I’m not talking about success here, because in this world, at this present time, everyone measures “success” differently. But I am talking about what we hope to get out of something.
So here’s what I think, and again, feel free to trash it, but as you trash it, understand that for this man, you are trashing something that has proven to work, time and again. In other words, disagree away, but I am no liar in this area, I wouldn’t write this if I didn’t already know where it takes me.
I think that if we want to know the Bible, we should read the bible, regularly. That is not a law, it’s just a fact. We aren’t born with an innate knowledge of what Jesus said to the Pharisees in a given situation. To find out, we must read what He actually said. So as I said, if we want to know the bible, we must read it. There is no getting around this simple fact, as I have yet to meet the person who was born knowing the Bible and what it means, AT ALL. God could do so, He could grant a person that instant knowledge, I have no doubts of that. But I haven’t seen it yet.
I think if we want to know God, then we must spend time with Him. That is not a law. We are free to spend time with Him, and we are free to ignore Him. But if we want to know Him, we are going to have to spend time with Him, talking, listening, waiting, resting. As I said, this isn’t a law, but there is no other way I know of to get to know God better than to spend time with Him, in whatever form that takes. For some, it’s a walk in nature. For others, it’s silence. For me, it’s a combination of several things, such as silence, prayer, nature, and the strange way I recognize how He speaks to me through interactions with my daughter.
I think if we want to do the things Jesus did, then we are going to have to learn WHAT He did, and then begin to put that into practice. We cannot ask the question, “What would Jesus do?”, and expect to make the right decision, if we do not know what He would do. Likewise, we cannot expect to do the things He would do if we wait until we are on the spot, and have to make a quick decision as to what is His way. Doing what He did isn’t an “on-the-spot” lifestyle, since none of us were born doing the things He did, or even knowing what He did. We all have responses that are much different “naturally” than what He would have done. So, in order for us to do what He did, our entire lives, in fact, even the WAY we make decisions, must be changed. We cannot expect to love one another on the spot, if all of our lives, we have never loved one another as Jesus did. In order for us to love one another, we must know Jesus, we must know His love, and we must be changed.
I will not speak of how that change occurs tonight. But, I would like to add that with everything I said here tonight, imagine if we did all these things already knowing God was completing the good work in us that He had started.
Discipline is not hard. It is a way of life. We are disciplined to love our neighbor poorly all of our lives. I have never met a person who loved his neighbor well unless he had been affected by the love of Christ. So I guess what I am saying is, discipline isn’t what we have been led to believe it is. Discipline is not hard work, rather, it is a natural way of life that has taken root and borne fruit. We go one way all of our lives; in order for us to go the other way, a change will have to happen. If all of my life I didn’t know the Bible, and one day I desired to know it, what, oh what, should I do?
I am free to do all things through Yeshua, who strengthens me.