Discipline vs. Punishment
Isn't it funny that the word to describe what we are SUPPOSED to do (having discipline) and what we AREN'T SUPPOSED to do (being disciplined) is the same?
I can see how these two can be tangled.
Didn't you love the analogy of following a recipe as closely as possible so we can enjoy the sweetness of the end result? Why, if we can easily submit to a recipe, then, do you think we argue with what God's Word tells us is the best way?
How can we remind ourselves of the end result of living a disciplined life?
Look back at the disciplines we've discussed through our book. Review each one and consider how you can live a disciplined life.
So often, we think of discipline with drudgery. Yet, the subtitle of this book is "the glad surrender." How can you find JOY in pursuing discipline?
This 14-Day Bible Study has been a JOY for me. Thank you for joining me.
Stay connected to me to hear about our next #LiveSlowBibleStudy !
God's Will > Comfort.
How important is being comfortable to you? How does comfort distract you from prioritizing God's will?
Take a breather. Dig in today to Daniel 10. Account for how Daniel had an angel reminding him to drown out feelings. And think of the men & women in the Bible who may not have "FELT" like obeying God (but they did and what an example of faith we can study and duplicate). Moses didn't feel like going to Pharaoh, Jonah didn't feel like going to Ninevah, Paul didn't feel like being shipwrecked, snake biten, beaten, etc. Sarah (Abraham's wife) laughed when God said she'd have a child in her late ate.
Let's focus on what GOD WANTS and not what WE WANT.
Are feelings in and of themselves bad? No! We don't need to try to squash all feelings and be convinced that our discernment is against God. But recognize that we are human and it's about disciplining our feelings so they do not control us.
Read John 21:15-19 ... what kind of conversation for Jesus and Peter have? Love isn't based on "if you feel lovey" - it's based on taking action.
Today, let's take a step forward in training our response to our feelings/emotions.
Find joy in the mundane tasks.
The idea of WORK ETHIC is not an unfamiliar topic to me. I am an Army Brat and my dad is quite a stereotypical retired Major. He expects a lot and there is no gray area when it comes to discipline. It was wonderfully annoying as I grew up under his roof.
As an adult, I've grown to appreciate his sternness and diligence. He taught me a lot about respect and work ethic. I am forever grateful.
A few pressing questions that made me really step back and evaluate my discipline in work:
Have you ever found yourself wondering what God's will for your life is?Elisabeth says, "Let's rest assured that God knows how to show His will to one who is willing to do it." WOW.
Do you ever look to your job to fulfill you? Remember, we can only be fulfilled by God.
Do you find any of your current roles beneath you? Even Jesus washed feet.
And my biggest takeaway (hold onto your seat belts), if people were to evaluate God based on the excellence and joy you find in your work, what does your work ethic teach them about Jesus?
Pray through this and share with me!
"I wish I had..."
I find myself spewing these words from my mouth more often than I care to admit. That is why this chapter about "Discipline of Possessions" was so helpful. It's so easy to dwell on what we don't have and in the process, cease to be grateful for our many blessings.
Take a moment to read Philippians 4:11-13
Do you struggle with believing everything in your life is actually from God? From our children, our paychecks, our home, our careers... Confess what you are claiming as your own.
Have you ever given someone a gift who wasn't grateful? The next time the opportunity came around to give them a gift, were you reluctant? Now... turn that question on yourself. Based on the level of gratitude you display to God on a regular basis, do you think He's eager to bless you again? How can you show more gratitude in your life?
Do you remember the 5 lessons Elisabeth pointed out (also re-explained in today's video)? Which of those do you feel you struggle with?
"I don't have time."
Do you ever say that? When you say it, what does that REALLY mean? (I'll help you out... it means "I don't want to.")
Open your Bible to John 17:4, read it aloud!
Elisabeth writes a very clear indicator of when we step outside God's will: when we find ourselves frantic and frustrated, we're running on our schedule, not God's. Based on that observation, do you feel like you operate on His agenda or your own?
Maybe you have a jam packed schedule and you struggle saying, "no"? What kind of boundaries can you set for yourself to avoid being over-scheduled and who will you ask to hold you accountable?
Here are Elisabeth's six reasons our schedules have no room for worry (pg. 101)
- Worry is fruitless
- Worry is disobedient
- Worry is taking the not-given
- Worry is refusing the given
- Worry is the antithesis of trust
- Worry squanders time
I'm also convinced that a large reason we often feel rushed or "not enough" is because we rarely unplug from technology and social media. How about we all commit to taking a few hours this week and enjoy them unplugged. Sit your phone down. Turn off the TV. Go outside. Etc.
Honor. Respect. Duty.
Do your natural tendencies draw you to defend your rights? Or do you tend to defend you righteousness? What do you feel the difference is?
What authorities do you have in your life? Boss? Government? Teacher? How do you generally respond to authority (with attitude, with entitlement, with respect)?
Check out today's video for my thoughts --
Think about it this way... we're either here to serve Christ and others, or we are here to make a name for ourselves. Just taking a few of this chapter's principles, let's look at this comparison chart .
Time to get honest. Which side of the chart do you look more like? We'll never be perfect but we can daily ask God to make us more like His Son.
"...renewing of your mind..."
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- His good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
3-Step Process to "renew our minds"
- Open our minds to the Holy Spirit's work
- Submit to His control
- Have eternal perspective
Right now, I want you to think of the things that have gripped your mind that either have nothing to do with eternity or things that are God's job, not your job.
Pray through these things:
- God, open my mind to...
- I give you control over...
- In eternity, this...
"I have found it necessary sometimes deliberately to refuse thoughts of what someone has done to me and to ask for help to dwell on what Christ has done for that person and wants to do for them and for me."
To be intentional with our mind, let's focus on thinking of someone above ourselves today.
Let's put this into action with a random act of kindness. Pray for them. Do something crazy kind for them.
It begins with obedience.
"Holiness has never been the driving force of the majority. It is, however, ________ for anyone who wants to enter the Kingdom." Define holiness in your own words. You got it? I think about "set apart" - set apart for His special purpose. Which means we will do & think differently than the world. Which includes how we discipline our bodies with food, sleep, exercise and sexual relations.
"We cannot give our _______ to God and keep our _______ for ourselves." (my favorite quote)
As women, the world constantly tells us that our appearance is attached to our worth. Nothing could be further from the truth. Elisabeth's words are not meant to encourage us to be skinny, but to encourage us to be disciplined.
Let's ask the question this way: Do you consider the Lord in the ways you care for your health?
Spend some time in prayer, then write down some action steps that you feel you need to take to "honor God with your body."
Day 6, again!
"It is a great relief when someone else is in charge."
As I mentioned in this morning's email, chapter 6 is a big one. One that stumped me. One that ALMOST convinced me not to lead this study because of how my brain tosses and turns contemplating this theology.
Yet, under the same breath I read: "The Bible does not explain everything necessary for our intellectual satisfaction, but it explains everything necessary for our obedience and hence for God's satisfaction."
And just lie Moses, Noah, Abraham... dozens more... stepped out in faith before knowing the next step. This #LiveSlowBibleStudy was my small act of obedience. So I trust Him.
Now.. let's talk about our responsibility. God created us. And it brings Him much praise and honor when I choose to follow Him with blind faith.
Our actions do not EARN us our salvation. It is a way we display our love for Him. It's how we show Him we are thankful for the breath in our lungs, the food on our table, the love in our lives.
I'll leave you with this:
"A preacher went out to see a wheat farm. He and the farmer stood looking over the beautiful waves of grain and the preacher said, 'Well, John, you and God have surely done a good job here.' The farmer pushed his hat back on his head, gazed silently at the field, and said slowly, 'You shoulda seen it when God had it by Himself.'"
Tomorrow we dive into what God says about being disciplined with our bodies. Stick with me! Don't run from that feeling... God may be teaching you big things. Listen to Him and let go of fear!
"If God is in control of the big things, He must also be in control of the _____ ones."
As a practice of surrender, take a moment to brainstorm all the things God is in control of in your life. Big and small. List on paper as many as you can in 60 seconds.
Here is another fun fill-in-the-blank (I really want to make sure you are reading and absorbing. Today's chapter is DEEP and I pray God teaches you Truth you are ready to hear):
"When the will of man acts in accord with the will of God, that is _______ .When the will of man acts in opposition to the will of God, that is ________."
Hint: Have you ever viewed your disobedience as disbelief?
This chapter has been a doozy for me. Has it been for you? Are you all caught up on all six chapters of our book? I intentionally chose to host this Bible Study Monday-Friday so all participants can take the weekend to re-read or catch up.
Today, you are going to get TWO blogs from me. This chapter is THAT good.
We are mere instruments.
"God does not make all the moves for us. He provides the mean to discipline."
Think about the areas of your life where you need to be more disciplined. What prayers can you pray for God to come alongside you? What action steps do you need to take?
Check out the video for today!
Discipline does not save us; ________ does.
"Discipline is not my claim on Christ, but evidence of His claim on me."
What three things help us on our journey to discipline?
- ________ of God
The grace makes it _______, the scripture ______ the way; the Spirit _________.
Now, answer this question honestly. In the areas of you've succeeded in being disciplined in the past, have you expected to receive credit? Have you thought your discipline somehow contributed to your salvation?
What is Christian discipline?
Christian discipline means placing oneself ______.
Christian discipline is not self-_________ nor should it answer the question, "What's in it for _____?"
God's Word tells us that to accept God's call, we must "lose" ourselves.
If there were no perks of benefits to you, if the road was extremely difficult and filled with persecution, would you stay the course of following God?
Read 2 Timothy 2:4
"Soldiers don't get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them."
Let's show up for duty, ladies. We are UNDER ORDERS to obey & live a disciplined life.
The Call of Christianity is like gravity.
This comparison blew my mind. I explain it a bit more in today's video. But first... Elisabeth lists the following as disrupters of this pull: Feelings, Emotional Experiences, Pride, Foolishness, Flippancy.
"It was not the perfection of their faith that convicted him they were called. They had make a beginning. In that beginning, Paul found evidence of faith."
The question is NOT if you are called. God has called all of us. The question is simply, will you answer His call? If someone looked at your actions, would they think you act as someone who is called by God?
God's call comes from beyond anything of this world. Elisabeth breaks it down more specifically. Next to each word, think about something in that category you have to OVERCOME to pursue God's call on you life.
Chew on that -- we are about to DIVE into the specific areas in our life to be disciplined. See you again tomorrow!
My answer is YES.
Hey ya'll -- what do you think so far? Pray for a moment. Ask God to open your mind and grant you wisdom to absorb these truths.
First step, let's review 1 Samuel 3.
Go ahead, open your Bible and read it.
The Bible is, in fact, a book about God and man -- men _____ to and ______ God.
"The many leaders in the Bible were not concerned with credit, plans, notoriety, or success."
Do you fit into the same category? Or do you long to be known and receive credit as a great mom/wife/leader/human being?
The author uses the analogy of how discipline is the disciples "career," and obedience refers to the specific action.
Did you catch what she said about DEPENDENCE & OBEDIENCE? How was Jesus himself dependent and obedient?
NOTE: Dependence is NOT a flaw. We must recognize our 100% dependence on God.
Our OBEDIENCE (response) is the discipline.
Stop right there... read the chapter 1 (a whopping 3 pages long). Don't shy away from underlining and margin note-taking.
You're a student now! Let's dive right in...
I am created, ________, possessed, ___________.
You were made in God's image.
Would you say you feel fulfilled or unfulfilled?
Examine closely your answer above. Is your answer rooted in God and who He is or in you and the things of this world?
Hit "REPLY" and tell me if you struggle with fully trusting God. He created you and will care for you even more than the birds of the sky!