I have to be transparent with you all and let you know the challenges I’ve had with self-discipline this week. Did you know that when you declare a thing, there may be opportunity for great opposition? Well, it’s true. Just when you receive a thing from the Lord and the devil hears about it, he’s going to come and TRY to steal it from you. You don’t have to let him though. Every day is a victory and yesterday doesn’t determine tomorrow. Today has enough troubles of its own, so don’t worry about tomorrow (Matt. 6:34)
I was challenged because I allowed current events to distract me from leaning on Jesus. I just got engaged and plan to marry in less than a year. This is a very exciting time for my fiance and I, but I allowed the busyness of wedding planning to stress me out. Personally, I don’t do stress because stress is worry and worry is fear. None of those things are of God, so I don’t want them. For foolishness’ sake I decided that stress was bigger and more important than Jesus this week.
Those are the signs the Holy Spirit is dictating to us in those moments of potential stress. Why don’t we listen? For some, it’s that we aren’t trusting the voice we’re listening to. For others, his voice may not seem clear. Either way, circumstance is what is being trusted over truth. I don’t say this in any condemnation. We just need to see the reality of the situations we are putting ourselves in. It doesn’t have to be a pattern though! There is hope for change!
That’s where the self-discipline comes in. If we’re prioritizing the essential aspects of our day, then the new, different, or surprise factors that come into play won’t throw us off. Even if something very tragic were to happen, your routine can help maintain a healthy reliance on our Maker. When is your devotional time? If it’s not everyday, it has to be. The amount of time you spend one on one with Jesus is between you and him and everyone’s relationship is personal and unique. One thing I know that is across the board is daily communication is essential.
Devotional time everyday. Check. Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” We are to be like Jesus, so we need to get some consistency. Let’s look at the basics in our routine. Do you shower in the morning or at night? Maybe you do it one or the other or both. That could be an area that you start establishing consistency. I always take my shower at night before bed. There have been times where I got home super late and was tired and didn’t feel like it, so I took my shower in the morning. Then, it would throw off the rest of my day the next day every time. In building consistency to grow my self-discipline, taking a shower at night became my first baby step. No matter how late I get home or how tired I am, I take a shower before bed. I’m so grateful when I keep that consistency because I wake up ready for the rest of my day.
Hygiene is just one area that all of us do daily. Gradually develop consistency in all those daily or weekly tasks. Maybe pick a day of the week that you always do your laundry on. All those things are important because it’s what creates a foundation to build your day or week on. There are several natural things in life that just have to be done to thrive in a society, so make that a strength in your life. So when challenges arise you won’t feel like your whole world is turned upside down.
We must act on our words because that’s how faith is designed. First, you must speak, then you must believe, then you receive, and then you act. Consider the following verses:
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17
This week, do something. What area are you going to say you will be consistent in, and then actually act on that?