Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Do what needs to be done even though you don't want to!



Seeking God — really seeking — is more than just reading a few verses from the Bible in the morning and trying to be a good person that day. Seeking requires me to sacrifice the things I feel compelled to chase so I can be available to notice God’s clear direction.
Whatever we chase, like it or not, gains our full attention.
Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (NIV) Lysa TerKeurst






A few weeks ago, our Pastor reminded us that the distance between desire and destiny is often only one discipline away. When I practice the things that I don't want/feel like doing it is an opportunity to draw closer to God and become more like Jesus. This is done not out of an effort to find approval but because in God's sight, I flourish in acceptance.




The Bible calls us to; Serve one another in love - Galatians 5:13, Draw near to God and he will draw near to you - James 4:8, delight in the law of the Lordmeditating on it day and night - Psalm 1:2 and abide in Him and He will abide in me - John 15:4. By gleaning the Word, we take the decision out of our hand so that we are not tempted to chase our own whims. Yet, despite knowing this both in my heart and mind, I find myself fighting internal resistance again and praying that this discipline would be ingrained in the depth of my soul. Consistency is key. Through the daily practice of any discipline we build, grow and train our muscles to endure.


A friend of mine, through his recent experience of training for a 10K, reminded me that often to overcome, succeed or reach the next level  we must take ourselves out of the equation, or more specifically our thinking! In his training, he follows the prompts of a running app which directs his steps - warm-up, pace, speed and cool down. Similarly God's Word when we choose to read, meditate, study and apply it provides us a course for building, growing, and training for endurance. Like training for a 10K, we must be intentional about our training; warming-up with a devotional, pacing ourselves with prayer, meditating with scripture and cooling down with worship. Add to this a willing heart fuelled by the Holy Spirit and a running club (Christian fellowship) which will challenge you, encourage you and hold you accountable and you are set to run the race and equipped to course correct when Satan and the things of this world chase you. With eternity in mind, stinking thinking out of the way, endurance and hope in Jesus doing what needs to be done even though you don't want to becomes possible!


Practically speaking, this means preparing a plan or creating a strategy to follow daily. Once you have done this, you can simply "press play" on your running app and "go". If you do not intentionally plan however, you will end up  "tripping", "stumbling" through and running into the danger of letting other things high jack your day. Unless you shift and provide a different course you will take the same paths previously taken sabotaging your ability to be all that you have been created to be (that's a blog for another day).


Personally, one of my barriers to the consistent practice of any discipline is perfection:


"a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable; especially : the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness."




Perfection is the very thing that in the past, has clouded my thinking (which is why my friend's advice on removing thinking from the equation is very wise) and prevented me from achieving my goals. For instance, I would tell myself things like:


"Why bother starting if I won't get it done?"
"Why do it if I won't get it done right?"
"I will never succeed at this so why try?"
"I am not capable of following through -  I didn't finish reading that chapter, I didn't pray before bed, I didn't go to the gym"
"It will only last three days then I will give up"


Another barrier to my consistent practice of any discipline is emotion:


Emotion is the very thing that in the past, has clouded my thinking and prevented me from achieving my goals. For instance, I would tell myself things like:


"I don't feel like it."
"I don't want to."
"I am too tired."
"I am overwhelmed."
"I am hungry."


Another barrier to my consistent practice of any discipline is procrastination:


Procrastination is the very thing that in the past, has clouded my thinking and prevented me from achieving my goals. For instance, I would tell myself things like:


"I will have time later."
"After this tv show."
"After I sleep another 5 minutes."
"I will start tomorrow."
"I will start the first day of the week, month or year..."


Since then, I have learned that I can choose my thinking, that with God all things are possible and that as I trust and obey Him he will catch me so there is no need to procrastinate, perfect and dwell on my emotions for he loves me as I am and yet too much to leave me as I am. I can be myself and do what needs to be done even when I don't want to!


As I thrive for eternity I recognize that the enemy has a strategy and a plan, he comes prepared and  so I choose to meet and defeat him armed and ready. Although this will take discipline, I am prepared to do what it takes to become armed!


May you be richly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved as you continue on your journey!