Sunday, April 27, 2014

Is Discipline Enough?

Pleasure . . .

We spend much of our life seeking it.

We'll spend our money and give our time easily toward those things that bring us pleasure.

We were made for it.

We look for pleasure in all kinds of things and people.

But do we look for pleasure in our relationship with God? Are there times we really enjoy in our walk with God?

Or is it all about discipline? All about the things you have to do?

If it's all about discipline, you won't last long at anything - much less anything in your walk with God. Discipline is often the place we start, and as I wrote in a recent post, it is a way to create space for God to work in our lives.

But if it never moves beyond discipline - beyond that thing you do because you should - it won't last. You may be able to sustain it for days, weeks, months, or even years in some cases, but eventually discipline will fail.

That's where pleasure comes in. We seek it in many areas of our lives, but often not in our walk with God. But our walk with God is a place where we have to learn to find pleasure.

As King David says in Psalm 37:4, we need to "take delight in the Lord." That doesn't sound lie something that comes with discipline alone to me. It sounds like something more.

God wants us to find pleasure in what comes from His, In Psalm 16, David writes this:

"You make known to me the path of life;
          you fill me with joy in your presence,
          with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
                     (Psalm 16:11)

David seemed pretty sure that pleasure was something God desired for him to have. And that same God wants us find our pleasure in our relationship with Him as well.

If we look at David's life we see a man who struggled with sin and who made some big mistakes, yet he continued to seek God. David learned to find pleasure in God - in his relationship with God. It is possible.

So, how do we find pleasure in God?

David's life shows us that we seek God to find it. We cry out to God in and every situation - the good and the bad. The book of Osalms is filled with examples of David doing this.

And we ask God to show us how to find pleasure in our relationship with Him. God answers prayers, so if we ask Him, He will show us.

Often the way to finding pleasure in our relationship with God begins with discipline. Discipline is good and necessary, but it must move beyond that for it to last.

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