Almost eight years ago I was introduced to a worship song that strongly resonated with my heart’s desire – “Nothing Less Than Holiness / I Want To Be Holy / I Want To Be Like Jesus.” Those lyrics still bless my soul when I contemplate them. They became the cry of my heart as I did not just sing them, I prayed them.
Lately, I am amazed at the goodness of the Lord when it comes to His answering of prayer. Answering prayer is exactly what He promised to do. None of us would ever discount the place of prayer in everyday life. Lack of knowledge rarely hinders people when it comes to maintaining a consistent prayer life. There is one difficult place where most fall short – lack of discipline.
This three-word phrase is the root cause for the majority of situations where lack or excess is present. For the follower of Christ, discipline is not only our self-will. Self-discipline can only be effective when it is developed and transferred into Holy Spirit discipline. Living a life of spiritual discipline and pursuing holiness are strongly related concepts in my mind.
As Spirit-filled followers of Christ who have the revelation of His standard of holiness, we must exercise discipline in our personal lives. There is no demand for me to illustrate with examples because the needs vary from person to person. Yet, as a fellow follower of Christ, I encourage you to review your areas of lack and those of excess. Confess sin if necessary and seek the face of God for His Spirit to help you exercise discipline.
A mentor once told me, “If the devil can’t hold you back, he’ll be glad to push you over.” Therefore, we need balance. The concepts of holiness and discipline lead us here. This life is not ruled by visible excess or lack but finds its center in Christ and His Word. At that center, righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit permeate your atmosphere.
I am still in the process of learning and applying all of this. But as a steward of the manifold blessings of Christ, I have learned these three lessons on my journey:
- Too much of any one thing is not healthy; excess will lead to a sickness of some kind.
- A little moderation over a longer period of time makes a larger impact than most anticipate.
- The practice of self-discipline in one area of life, can and should spill over into other areas of life.
“I want to be like Jesus, I want to be more like Him. Everyday He’s changing me, making me what I should be. I want be more and more like Him.” Our holiness should manifest a deep love for those who have not experienced salvation. Let us discipline ourselves to pray and believe. Then we will do the works of Jesus and the greater works He wants to see.
What life lessons have you learned along the journey? Do you see a connection between discipline and holiness? Comment and let’s grow together.