Last week, we learned about the important role that endurance plays in a long distance race.
And as you know, as believers, we are all running a long distance race. The good news is that it is a race that we all can run and win.
But how do we develop spiritual stamina and endurance?
I believe one of the ways is through discipline. After all isn’t that what a disciple of Jesus is? Simply, a disciplined follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Any serious athlete knows that if they are going to develop any kind of endurance and improve it is by following a strict training and eating plan. Then they must exercise sufficient discipline to ensure that they carry out exactly what is required of them.
Well, it’s also like that spiritually speaking.
Look at what Paul says in the last part of verse seven, when he writes to Timothy;
1 Timothy 4:7 (AMP)
“…Train yourself toward godliness (piety), [keeping yourself spiritually fit].
Spiritual strength isn’t a gift and doesn’t come naturally, it has to be intentionally cultivated and in many ways, is a lot like physical exercise.
I do believe that, in Matthew chapter six, Jesus gives us three ways to cultivate discipline in our lives.
1. When you give (Matt 6:2)
2. When you pray (Matt 6:5)
3. When you fast (Matt 6:16)
Every time we give to the work of the Lord, or we spend time in His presence praying and/or fasting, we are doing something that will help to build discipline in our lives.
As you all very well know, the flesh hates and vehemently opposes doing these things.
But when we rise above the dictates of the flesh and actually do them, we find that they are in fact very necessary as well as beneficial in building character and making us more like Jesus.
And the more disciplined we become, the more spiritual stamina and endurance we develop.
Friends, discipline is important because it is one of the things that will help produce endurance in you.
And endurance is important, especially when you are going through those difficult moments and seasons in your life.
The enemy is bent on taking out you and your family; there is no two ways about that. And we know that and are mindful of his diabolical and fiendish plans.
But I also know that God has awesome plans for you too!
Plans that you should prosper and be in health.
Plans to favour you and bless you in every area of your life.
Plans for you to encounter and experience Him in ways unimaginable.
Don’t let the enemy trip you up and disqualify you from running.
If you have fallen, then in Jesus name, get up and brush the sand and grass off and get back in the race.
Get back into that church.
Get back into that LifeGroup.
Get back into that choir.
Get back into leading.
Just get up and get back!
There is a glorious prize waiting for you at the finish line and it is endurance that will help get you there.
Thank You Father for discipline in my life that will build character and endurance in me.