The Discipline of Relationship, Part 2

I’ll never forget as a college freshman learning that I could have a personal relationship with Jesus.  I had been a believer for many years, but I never knew God desired to have a relationship with me.  I was hungry for something else in my faith, but I didn’t know what.  So when I heard other believers talk about their relationship with Jesus, I knew I wanted what they had.  So they introduced me to the practice of having devotions – we called it a “quiet time.”  They gave me some instruction on how to have devotions and I began to get up early each day to meet with the Lord.

It was terrible.  Day after day I would try to hear the Lord speak to me as I read the Bible, attempted to pray and tried to listen.  Frankly, it seems the only thing I was successful at doing was falling asleep.  It truly was becoming a “quiet time.”  I was getting discouraged and was finding it harder and harder to find the discipline to continue.

I needed help.  I needed a coach, someone to show me how and to encourage me. I told a friend of my struggles and how defeated I felt.  He agreed to meet with me and have devotions with me.  He became a coach, a model, a mentor and a cheerleader for me.  Over the years I have read about how others have devotions, I have been in studies on the subject, and I have had others act as my devotional mentors.  All of these provided the discipline that I needed to develop a strong devotional life.  Today I no longer need others to provide the structure and discipline.  Thirty-seven years later, I am self-disciplined with my devotions.  I love meeting with the Lord.

Are you having trouble developing the discipline needed to have a consistent devotional life?  Do you wish you had more self-discipline?  The answer is not to try harder.  You will never develop self-discipline by exercising more self-discipline.  If you had self-discipline, you wouldn’t need to try harder.  You need to find discipline from outside of yourself.

coachWhen I went out for gymnastics as a high school sophomore, I knew nothing about gymnastics.  I needed a coach to teach me everything.  I needed a coach to motivate me to put in the hard work to become a gymnast. I did not have the self-discipline to become a good gymnast.  My coach is the one who provided the discipline I did not have.  As the years went by, I became less and less dependent on a coach to provide the structure and discipline necessary to be a gymnast.  I became self-disciplined.  Without discipline from my coach and the accountability of being on team, I would never have developed that self-discipline.

Devotions take discipline.  Most of us do not have the self-discipline to have the daily devotions that are necessary to nurture our relationship with Jesus.  We need help. We need people in our lives to create the discipline until we have become self-disciplined.  Who is your coach?  For some ideas of how to accomplish this, check out my post entitled, “2 Ways to Devotional Consistency.”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: