Tuesday, April 4, 2017

2 Ways to Fight Indiscipline and Win

Last post I shared my total lack of discipline in what I ate, what I did, what I thought and what I said.  All very disconcerting and disheartening and sad and scary.  And I could not seem to ‘fix’ it.  I so longed for an easy formula to be and do all God wants me to be and do.

Interestingly or coincidentally or providentially as all of this misbehavior is going on I am trying to prepare for the retreat I am speaking at in.3.days!!!  Three days from now I am to stand in front of a group of women who have come to spend two days hearing from God and I am supposed to be the one to lead them to do that?

The passage they gave me is Colossians 3 and the theme they asked me to speak on is “Spring Cleaning:  Getting out the Junk”!!  Junk is all I got!!  I am a mess!!  Besides, I don’t spring clean!!  I WANT to spring clean.  I love the results of spring cleaning.  My mom spring cleaned.  But, remember, I am not being disciplined in my time so instead of spring cleaning (if for no other reason than to use as an illustration for this retreat) and studying and writing, I’m playing solitaire and eating cinnamon rolls!!!

I hope that you are picking up on the state of my affairs right now….if not, read last post.

During these days of total lack of self-discipline (which, by the way, is something I struggle with on an on-going basis….and have for years—OK, decades….not just this week…but for some reason, this time has been super hard and scary) I have had some breakthroughs.  On those days before I got out of bed I pleaded to the Lord to help me focus on Him and accomplish what He wanted me to do.  And He did.  When I let Him.

It was during those times that, as I poured over Colossians 3, I discovered my ‘formula’.  My 2 ways (not 2 easy ways) to win over indiscipline. 

1.      Put them all aside. 

"Put aside" or "take off" things like impurity, evil desires, anger, malice, slander, lying and abusive speech—just to list a few that Paul mentions in verses 5-9.  It is also important to name them!!  Give the things that keeps “the peace of Christ from ruling in our hearts” a name.  Be specific!

2.      Put on new self. 

Put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, be thankful and love to name just a few that Paul mentions in verses 10-17.  Do everything in the name of Jesus!!  E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g!!  I way too often do everything in the name of Dana!!  What Dana wants, what Dana feels, blah, blah, blah.

Not easy steps to be sure.  Not an easy formula...but vital for me to get out of this mess!!  I love how He tells us to put off certain things--which really is a picture of taking off clothing--getting undressesd....but He does not want us to stay naked!!  We must THEN put on certain things!!  Get dressed!!! 
How am I supposed to do these two things?  Verse 10 tells me how.

1. Know what God says in His word.  Get in the Word, Dana James!!  Not simply to teach it but for POWER!!  Power to eat and do and think and speak Godly.

2. Remember who God created me to be.  He created me to be an ezer (Genesis 2:18)!!  A very strong warrior helper!!  Stop being a wimp, Dana James!!  Get up.  Pick up your sword and fight for Godly!!  Fight to stop doing what the flesh wants or doesn’t want!!

Just writing these words fill me with hope and anticipation and courage.  The true test will come when I finish this and hit publish. 

What will I do then?  Will I celebrate and go get a large, sugary, cinnamon roll?  Will I play solitaire instead of studying?  Will I think ungodly thoughts and say hurtful things or will I throw those things off and eat right, be productive, think on things above and speak Truth in love?

What I DO know is this, the temptation is great.  It is real.  But we KNOW His power enables us to run from temptation.  I cannot, will not, put on the new self in my own power.  This, we know, is basic Christianity….nothing we didn’t already know.  But why?  Why in the world do I keep on forgetting and try to do this thing in my own power?

Forgive me Lord!  Empower me to put off me and put on You.  I pray for the one reading this that might in some way relate to what I am saying….give her Power as well!!  In Jesus’ name…amen!!

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