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Desire, discipline and dedication in your walk with Christ

In your walk with Christ your desire, discipline and dedication towards the Lord can work wonders for you. You must desire to do the will of God. And to effectively do the will of God you must discipline yourself through the Word of God. And you must continue to be dedicated under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to continue in the right desire and discipline that you need to follow Christ.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control,lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

The best desire for any person is to do the will of God. The will of God is that you believe in Christ. The will of God is that you be holy as the Lord your God is holy. The will of God is that you love God and love your neighbor. Now it looks all so simple, yet so many people are not able to desire the will of God either because they are engrossed into worldly passions or are blinded by the devil. Many people pass away into an infernal and painful eternity as they never once, not even once desired to walk in the will of God.

Might be they never had the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them or may be they heard it but it never took a place in their hearts. However, a believer in Christ who has heard the Gospel has many good things placed before him such as healing, restoration, prosperity, prophecy, wisdom etc. And among the best of these things is the will of God himself. So desire the will of God in your life.

Desire towards the truth is a good to thing to have. Often that is the starting point to receiving Jesus Christ in one’s life. However it doesn’t end over there. A person must live a disciplined life. A misdirected desire might end up in the wrong direction. The principles of discipline in the Bible keep us pointed towards Christ.

To give you an example, just because you profess to love Christ doesn’t mean that you now start fasting, praying for long hours to earn your salvation. (Fasting and praying do not save, only by faith are you saved). Here’s what the Bible says about earning salvation:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Trying to earn your salvation might seem a good desire but in reality it just a lie from the Devil. Jesus called Satan as the father of lies. The Devil is unable to overcome the truth of the Bible. However, to keep people deceived he will invent a lot of lies which go contrary to the Holy Scriptures. No wonder, you must discipline yourself in the Word of God. It will be hard to let go of things, bad things and bad habits that contradict the will of God but once you do it all you will realize that it was worth it. That’s good desire and discipline in action!

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:11-13)

Now the thing that seals the deal with desire and discipline is dedication. Don’t get me wrong but only having desire and discipline will only get you so far. Like for a few months or a couple of years. Dedication takes it further. We are talking about a lifetime. Your belief in Christ was never meant to have an expiry date. None so ever!

Sometimes, I hear testimonies from Christians who came back to Christ after living a life of hedonism and debauchery. They say how they loved Christ and went to church in their childhood but slowly as they ventured into adulthood their zeal for the Lord faded. So much so that there was no trace of it. They loved the false and deceitful pleasures of the world.

Then came that one storm of life that took away all their happiness and set them on a downward spiral of broken relations, being imprisoned and a grave loss of health and money. Eventually someone came by, to preach the Gospel to them and these people truly repented and got saved. Then just to test them a question would be asked, ‘Now will you go back to that sin?’ And there would be a response which is mostly sharp and loud, ‘No, I won’t ever leave Jesus. Why do you even ask that?’. I’m not surprised at their response, for such people have been given a bitter foretaste of hell which hurt their soul within. Only by the grace of God have they tasted the sweet waters of salvation again. That is why they get so emphatic when someone tries to question them about going back into the same set of sins that brought them to serious destruction. This is a just a small glimpse of what dedication feels like.

A person who chooses to live a life of dedication to Christ will not entertain the thought of leaving the great and glorious Saviour Jesus who is the Lamb of God. He will rebuke and shun away all such thoughts that direct him away from Christ. He will realize truly well that the only thing that matters in this life and the next is about continuing to believe in Jesus Christ. For to him, the pain of discipline is nothing in front of the loving mercy of Jesus. A man or a woman who wants to live a life of dedication to the will of God, does continue to maintain both desire and discipline. This is not out of compulsion nor fear of what other believers will say. Rather this is out of great respect and love for the Lord Jesus Christ.

A love for God without respecting him is out of sync with the teachings of the Bible teaching and the will of God. Claiming to love him without respecting him in your heart is plain hypocrisy. Do not imitate Judas Iscariot who claimed to be the Lord’s disciple and yet betrayed him because he loved money more than Christ. Do not imitate Caiaphas who was a high priest of God and yet wanted the Son of God dead because he loved man made traditions more than God. These are hypocrites who will receive their due judgement at Judgement day. These men no longer live and so have lost their chance to repent. However, you have a choice and a life to live. In this regard, you are far better off than them for you; you still have your options open. So then, O believer in Christ, live a life dedicated to the will of God. If you are already doing this, then I encourage you to do so even more. Focus and mediate of the following words of Jesus our Lord:

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:19-20)

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