Discipline is about doing what you said you would do, even when there are many reasons or excuses not to. It is about writing this meditation each night, even though at times I would rather just go to bed. Discipline is about faithfulness and persistence. Discipline is about leaving behind the milk of the faith and moving onto the meat.
I want to thank those of you who have been commenting. It has added to this journey. We all need walls to bounce things off of, to help us discern what God is teaching us. The solitary student will soon drift off course, because he has no one to sharpen his vision, his understanding of the chart he is reading. If there is one thing that scripture seems to point out, it is that being alone is spiritually dangerous.
Think about Elijah, fresh from his remarkable victory over Baal at Mount Carmel. He runs off alone and gets it all wrong, thinking he is the last one left following God. The Lord has to point out to him that he has preserved 7000 of his brothers who have not bowed their knee to the idol.
I also think it is instructive that Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs and when Paul begins his missionary journeys he always has a partner: first Barnabas, then Silas. We need each other for correction, reproof, encouragement, support, and fellowship, among other things.
I wasnt sure who would join in on this journey, and who would comment to become a more active partner, but I want to say again I appreciate your participation.
Mark, Ben, Brant, and Paul have made insightful comments in the last few days. Ben is Russian, Paul is a former Wycliffe Bible translator who spent time in Papa New Guinea and now lives in the Northwest. Mark is small town mid-country, what we used to call salt of the earth. Brant is a new father and enjoying his first child, a girl and comes from a Lutheran background. All are different, each with their unique perspective on the matter.
Over the next few days I need to deal more with the interior journey and Pauls concerns and I am still thinking through Brants observation about Glory vs. the Cross. I will say this though. I do not have the long history of Ben (40 years!) but the longer I am a Christian the more I realize that all the good things and needful things we do boil down to one thing, it is not about me, except in the most peripheral sense. I am not Gods plan, only an infinitesimal part that larger enterprise. Yes, each of us, as small parts of the whole, is critical and we are so by Gods choice. So, even though we are little, we are significant and important to our heavenly Father. Yet we need to constantly remember, it is about the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Grace and peace to your day. May God grant you grace to help in your time of need and peace to calm you when the storm rages around you. Amen.
I thank you for both the time and effort you are putting into these posts. I find your reflections and words a stirring to my soul each day.
I just had to make a quick note (in addition to thanking you for the devotionals, too, btw) about a man you mentioned: Paul, the missn’y formerly in PNG. Our friends, the Sconce family just returned from PNG and my husband will p/u another family next week when they fly from PNG into Vancuover (a couple of hours north of us here).
So—all this to say… I wonder if Paul knows the Sconce’s or the senior Sconce’s?
thank you, blessings—-pamela
Pamela, I will email him and ask him.
Update: Paul said he does not know them. He has been back in the states since 1995, so they may have come to New Guinea after he and his family left.