I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. -Jesus
(John 10:10 ESV)
I didn’t wake up today and say “I think I am going to try to fail as much as possible today!” No! I woke up longing for the abundant life Jesus promised, yet so often my life is not filled with much abundance (except in laundry and dirty diapers!)
If I am to experience fruitfulness in my life, there are two components which must be true of my days.
The Need for Self-Discipline.
I long to live the disciplined life. One which results in me and my family spiritually thriving, physically healthy, and living with devotion to the eternal.
I don’t pretend that these things are true of me. I have a long way to go, but without self-discipline I cannot expect these characteristics to become evident in my life.
Getting up at the crack of dawn is no fun, but if I want to experience the fruit of a deep relationship with Jesus I must spend regular time with Him in His Word. If mornings are the only way I can do that, then mornings it is.
The abundant life takes time, perseverance and hard, hard work.
I discipline my body and keep it under control… (1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV)
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14 ESV)
The apostle Paul understood this, that self-control is a must in living the Christian life. Yet, Paul also knew that governing ourselves is not enough.
The Need for Dependence
How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? (Galatians 3:3 NLT)
I must learn to become dependent on the Spirit of God. My best efforts are futile without the working of the Holy Spirit in my life.
Even if I were to find a way to manage my every step, there is no way I could even touch the construction needed to be done in my heart. That is a work of God alone.
The Secret to the Abundant Life
Here it is, plain and simple.
I must be disciplined.
I must depend on the Spirit of God.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit…Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:16.19 NLT)
A Resources Giveaway
To help us in our efforts, we have some resources to share with you!
- An e-copy of Savoring Living Water: How to have an effective quiet time, by Lara Williams and Katie Orr (that’s me!)
- A practical how-to method for studying the Bible on your own.
- Tips on connecting with God in a meaningful way through journaling and scripture memory.
- Ways to deal with the distractions that inevitably arise during a quiet time.
- How to apply God’s word to the moments of daily living.
- â€¦and much more.
- Walking in the Spirit, by Kenneth Berding
This is a great, easy to read study of Romans 8. It reads like a book, with lots of personal examples and practical teachings on what it looks like to allow the Spirit of God to permeate and affect your days. You can also read my own review of Walking in the Spirit here.
How to Enter
Which do you struggle with the most? Self-discipline or depending on the Spirit for your efforts? (Or both?)
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