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Desire and Discipline September 23, 2006

Posted by Joe in Links, Random Musings.
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Lar,

Looks like Blog Nation is a little busy! Either way, here is an article by Tim Challies that I was encouraged by. It is called “Planned Neglect.” I think he is right on the money here. This is a much needed message for us as Americans. It is wise to neglect what we must in order to enjoy what we truly desire (or what we want to desire as we ought!) We do it all the time in life really, but sadly, are slow to get it when it comes to the pursuit of God.

I find it to be interesting, however, that discipline and desire feed off of one another. Think about it: Why does an athlete discipline himself for the goal of greatness? Is it not because he desires it and knows what it takes to get it? Yes, absolutely. However, it is often true (as I have experienced) that the disciplined work fuels the desire. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. So a disciplined pursuit of God flows from a strong belief that He is all that our hearts will ever need and desire. We pursue because we believe. Yet the more disciplined we are, the more that desire has an opportunity to grow. We believe because we pursue.

So what comes first? Well, desire comes first. It is the root. The seed of desire leads one to discipline. Yet there is some wisdom in saying that one ought to discipline himself in order to truly desire what one ought. In fact, I think it is wise to say that one out to discipline oneself until that desire begins to consume the whole of one’s life and being (which is why we must be disciplined until the day we die–no days off!).

Our desire might seem very weak at times (like every single morning!). Therefore, I think it is wise to tap into the inner reaches of our souls, to set some time aside and ask ourselves: what is my innermost desire? What do I know to be the object (Object!) that can satisfy the inner reaches of my heart? Deep down, what do I really want?

I hope and pray that the answer is God. So after finding that answer, then we need to ask ourselves the question: what do I need to do to have Him? How do I need to live so as to more fully enjoy Him and make Him known? We let that one desire dictate the whole of our life. That’s it. It really is that simple–and radical–and joyful! We determine our discipline in order to fuel our desire for God!

And on the other hands, we tap into our innermost desire for God and then discipline ourselves in whatever way we must so as to enter into a greater enjoyment of His Person. That might be a little confusing, but maybe you can bring some clarifying words here Lar.

That being said, the way I see it, we cannot know true joy and power in this life apart from discipline. We were created to desire God and to diligently pursue Him. Cruise-control living simply will not cut it. We were made for so much more!

Alright, enough for now. May the Lord grant us a greater desire for Jesus and diligence and discipline in pursuit of His Person!

Seeking to neglect what I must in order to enjoy what I truly desire,

Joe

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