Have you ever left a project incomplete? Walked away from a job because it was too difficult? Been sidetracked by another priority? I think we can all answer “yes” to those questions.
Now change the frame. Have you ever cut out early on a work the Lord wanted to do in or through you? Has your spiritual tenacity drained away? Has an outside pressure weakened your witness? Then be encouraged by the words of Paul to the Corinthians, just after explaining to them how important the message and work of the gospel is:
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (I Corinthians 15:58, ESV)
In other words, “Resist the pressure to slow up or change course! Keep doing what you are doing…it makes a kingdom difference!” Rest assured though, the pressures come hard and fast. They might include:
- Hectic schedules
- The cares of the world
- Unhealthy relationships
- A lack of gospel focus
- Misplaced priorities
Surely, there are others. But, how do you counteract them all? I’d say, through discipline. Discipline in the word. Discipline in prayer. Discipline in service. Discipline in fellowship. Discipline to remember your mission.
Gordon McDonald, in his book, A Resilient Life, says, “Discipline strengthens the will. It enlarges the capacity of a person to summon courage when life gets tough.” Discipline keeps us in the game.
So, don’t fizzle out. Don’t fade away. Don’t let the distractions of life steal away your fervor for the “work of the Lord.” Instead, stay the course, stand on the ground of the gospel, and strive for a life of spiritual significance and courage despite the challenges. Be a disciplined follower of Christ. Our church, families, and communities will be better off for it!
Striving with you,