This past year a friend of mine held a Zoom conference as a part of his work with business men. The title he selected for the subject of the call was “Distractions.” In the previous months, as he had spent time with Christian men, he could sense with some that there seemed to be a paralysis, uncertainty and “treading water” when it came to life and even their own walk with God.
Distractions is certainly appropriate. We live in a world of distractions. The battle against a mysterious virus has occupied the world’s attention for the past two years. Our culture has an identity crisis going on that seeks to make the claim that we humans are not born as male or female. We are experiencing racial conflict and division, the disintegration of the family continues it’s downward spiral, suicide rates among the younger generation are accelerating and the institution of marriage remains under attack. The list goes on and I’m sure you can add many more to the list.
So, how do we stay anchored to remain on course in the midst of the chaos? In many cases we are subjected to be responders to the world’s events. In other situations, we may be asked to get in one lane or the other, to pick sides on an issue or event. How do we live intentionally in the midst of all these distractions and stay true to a man’s walk with God?
The Bible does not leave us without instruction. The apostle Paul in his mentoring of his young lieutenant, Timothy, provided encouragement when he exhorted him to “…discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;” I Timothy 4:7 NASB Likely, Paul knew that the “distractions” of the world and the demands of a young church required focus and intentionality if his young student was going to produce a good crop in the years to come. First, he needed a focus: godliness and second, he needed to discipline his life accordingly. It wasn’t going to happen by accident or merely wishing it to be so. Embracing the word of God abundantly, growing in steadfast prayer and empowered by the strength of the Holy Spirit would be necessary.
Spiritual discipline is essential to a man’s walk with God. Every man learns the lessons of discipline. Success at an occupation requires discipline to obtain the skills necessary to perform the required tasks. An athlete must be disciplined in order to excel in competition. Consequences await the man who fails to learn these lessons.
The man who walks with God embraces the spiritual disciplines. Doing so, he grows in godliness. Doing so he avoids getting held hostage by the world’s distractions.
Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness!
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"And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19
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