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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Heart for Discipline

What hard work a garden requires! Pruning, clipping and shaping are all necessary in order to grow flowers and have the end result of beauty. It is a necessary discipline. Discipline isn't a word most people like, but how necessary it is in order to grow in our Christian lives! "We need to develop a love for discipline. How else will we become a Paul, a David, a Hannah, a Mary, a woman after God's Own heart? We must pray for a greater discipline to pray, to read God's Word, to get a heart for peace and purity." Elizabeth George's study has given us so many "yes, but how?" answers this month! This post is a synopsis of lesson three in her book.

Every day when we get up we have so many things calling for our attention. What do we give attention to? David answers that with this passage: Psalm 5:1-3 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. David's solution is that we must have time with the Lord.

What does it require?

  1. Daily time - The tip of the iceberg is only 1/7 of the iceberg. The greater part of it is out of sight where people do not see. Your public life is just the tip of the iceberg. People look at you after you've spent your time with the Lord, alone, praying, giving Him your life (this is the 6/7 that they don't see!); they look at what they do see of your life and they say, "Where does she get that? How come she doesn't faint? How come she always seems to make the right decisions?" It's because of what they don't see of your life which is that time spent out of sight beneath the surface with the Lord. "Talent develops itself in secret. What kind of talent? The talent of prayer. The talent of faith. The talent of meditation. The talent of seeing the unseen. It's all developed in prayer; out of sight in solitude."
  2. Where is it we're going to get this time? We have to learn to say "no." You have to say "no" to something in order to say "yes" to something else. We must say no, not only to things that are wrong and sinful, but to things that are pleasant, profitable and good, if it would hinder and clog our grand duties and our chief work. Elizabeth said when she considers this statement she always things of ...sleep! Sleep is profitable, pleasant and good! But if we could just say no to a little sleep so we could take care of our grand duties and our chief work.

I'm busy Lord, surely you can see

a thousand things that wait for me.

The dishes still lie in the sink

I cannot stop to pray or think!

Lord, I know You understand,

you gave these children to my hand.

And now they cry and need me so

Lord, You understand, I better go.

Now I've got them all to sleep,

I better dust and mop and sweep,

I must thaw out the meat for stew,

and the ironing's long overdue.

And kindly my Lord answered me,

"Why do you from my presence flee?

I have so much for you today.

My child, I want to hear you pray.

I love you, child. I want you here,

to rest, to listen, to shed a tear.

For what if Paul had stopped to say,

'Lord, I'm too busy to write letters today!'

No, my child, I'm what you need.

Through household duties you can speed

But when you're through there's emptiness

if this quiet time you miss."

Oh, thank you, Lord, for showing me

how much I need to wait on Thee.

For what's an undone dish or two

compared to spending time with you?

---Nancy Stitzel

We cannot be too busy to meet with the Lord and pray.

...Continued on tomorrow's post.

1 comment:

Debby said...

God knew I needed to read this post this evening. Thank you, Denise~ Debby