No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:11 (CSB)
I remember several years ago when I was working as an Emergency Medical Technician in East Tennessee, I had to attend a wilderness training weekend. This weekend had a lot of fun; however, the training sessions were awful! I lost 15 pounds in three days and experienced much frustration from rope training. I had a twisted ankle, and legs made of Jell-O. In these training sessions, I thought to myself, “When will I ever be saving someone in the woods?” Fast forward several months and I found myself working on an ambulance shift in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains one weekend, and we received a call of a missing hiker. This ended up being one of those exhausting weekend-long search and rescue missions we might read about in the paper or see on the news. We spent two days and one night in the mountains looking for one teenaged boy. We ended up finding him several miles off the trails under a small overhanging cliff. This is when my discipline (or training, instruction, and practice) kicked-in and enabling us to return the young man to his family safely.
This story is true for our spiritual disciplines (spiritual training, or holy habits) as well. We must be willing to go through God’s Training and be willing to exercise and train ourselves in being disciplined in order that we grow to be strong and healthy spiritually (Prov.23:12). We might be led to someone in need of something we possess (mainly Jesus). Perhaps, we have been through recovery, or we have survived an abusive relationship, or we have experienced the foster system or got our finances back in check. We all have something to offer to someone else in need. We never know when our spiritual training and discipline will pay off, and to walk in a new way of life, we need training.
1. What are some areas in my life that I need more discipline or training in?
2. What spiritual training have I already been through?
3. What spiritual habits do I currently use?
4. What are some spiritual habits I need to learn?