We talk alot about obedience at our house these days. Simon sings this little song to Caleb every morning before he leaves for work, "Everything's okay when we listen and obey. We have a good day when we listen and obey."
This little song holds more truth than it seems...and applies to my life even more than Caleb's.
As a mom who is constantly trying to fit more into her day than will possibly fit, who barely gets showered, much less fits in a good workout or a long Bible study, keeping this truth in mind is crucial. Because it's where all the other stuff comes from. My Very Favorite Pastor, John MacArthur (www.gty.org), has an amazing double-sermon series on self discipline. If you're looking it up, it's "The Art of Self-Discipline." Since this is one area of my life that I can't even pretend to be good at, I decided I needed to listen to it. Then I waited a while.
You see, John MacArthur is one of those guys whose sermons are so full of truth and who preaches with such determination and such beauty that, well, you're likely to have to change your life. Literally. And I wasn't sure I wanted much change. Especially in that area of Discipline. Because...ugh...how fun is discipline?
Also, I felt like I was getting quite enough Discipline as a parent of a three-year-old. Of course, I am on the other end of that one. But it's no more fun to enforce than it is to have it enforced upon you. So I felt.
But I got around to it. And so should you. Because--wow. Talk about perspective.
Maybe you know more about discipline than I do...but one of the reasons I was (and still am--though I am working on it) so bad at it is because I had no notion of the root of obedience and discipline. The reason for it, theologically speaking.
I am not my own! I belong, purchased and paid for by the very blood of Christ, to God. I have no authority over my own life. I am required, as a Christian, to live as God commands.
That sounds rather serious, doesn't it? I mean, did I sign up for that level of subservience? Yes!! I DID! I entered into a covenant with God when I accepted his Son's blood as payment for my sins. In the act of asserting my belief--the belief that I am a child of God, am sinful, and need Christ--I also agreed to live for Him; to be His. I cannot assert that I believe in God, and am His, without submitting completely to His authority. Without dying to my own.
What does this have to do with discipline? Everything! My time is not my own to waste! My thoughts are not my own to spend upon myself. My words, my deeds, my whole life. Not mine. I don't get to choose how to spend or use them. I must align myself with Christ, must, to the best of my ability, follow the teachings of Scripture and live my life as a daily devotion, disciplined unto the Lord.
Wondering where the fun comes in? It's there. Because, once you get over the general (sinful!) feeling of defensive possession, this is incredibly freeing! My life can be devoted to Christ with no reservation, no need for my own cultivation or preservation. I don't have to worry about who I become, where I'm going, or what I have to do to get where I want to go. It's all Christ. Am I living too much in the house? Should I be out, accomplishing things, widening my education, polishing myself? Those questions the world asks us stay-at-home moms every day. The answer is, Christ! Return to what Scripture says about these ideas...and leave behind the expectations of myself and all others.
It's so lovely! I continually discipline myself to single-mindedness. Stop worrying about anything but shining the glory of the Lord into every nook and cranny of your life. Discipline yourself unto the Lord.
And it's the best day ever.