Give up the Quick Fix and take the long view of change.
We are raised to believe in the quick fix. Television dramas resolve difficult problems in one hour. A common headache can be dispatched with a couple of Excedrin. We don’t even have to get out of our chair to control our technology, and Alexa will play a song at our command. Much of what we do is instant and convenient.
A wise person knows that some things do not yield to that sort of instancy, however. Talk to any City Manager, and they will tell you that people in their city expect the bridge to be built tomorrow. The new commerce center should be good-to-go in a month or two. But those kinds of changes require years to plan, raise money for, and to build.
Discipleship takes even longer – decades of reading, worship, obeying, failing and starting over, and praying for perseverance. It cannot be done with “two pills and call me in the morning” or even a sermon on “three ways to be a disciple. Like the Smith Barney commercial says, some things have to come the “old fashioned way learning it.”
Dropping in occasionally is not the way to build discipleship nor to train your children.
Our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness . No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening–it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way, ” Hebrews 12:7-11.
“All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified, ” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1: 6.
Question: Would you say you have given yourself wholly to following Jesus? What habits have you formed to help you accomplish this?
Activity: Make a list of the things you do to grow in following Jesus. Identify the one you want to be stronger in.
Prayer: Dear Father, you have not given up on us. Help us to not give up on you and on the work that you are doing in us. Give us the patience and endurance we need to see the work of maturity fully accomplished in us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.