Motivation Gets You Started, Discipline Brings You Forward III
For a person to succeed, motivation is the first foundation, and discipline is the second. Without the right motivation, all disciplines becomes aimless and meaningless. When a believer adopts a dream that is conceived by the Spirit, therein lies the motivation. However, many have no dreams because they lack something more fundamental; they could not believe that God is good, who sacrificed His life for every single person in the world. God appears to Abraham and gives him a dream and promise to fulfill it. Abraham simply believes God without doubting God’s sincerity. Yet many could not believe because they supposed if God is good they would not be in this dire situation or born into this family or place. Hence, the foundation to conceiving the dreams of the Spirit relates to one’s fundamental belief system concerning God’s goodness.
As God said to Abraham,
And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. Genesis 12:2
God is calling your name today and conceiving within your spirit a dream so that you may be blessed to become a blessing. We must not doubt God’s goodness but embrace His promises by taking small steps daily towards fulfilling the dream. By exercising a disciplined Personal Life allows us to focus on the day’s task without being overwhelmed by the rigors of the journey ahead. The disciplines of the Personal Life consist of the thought life and the emotional life.
In the previous article, we have discussed the disciplines of the thought life. Today, we will discuss the disciplines of the emotional life.
Disciplines of the emotional life
And behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
The voice that came from heaven lovingly identifies Jesus as the Beloved Son of God. The Father – Son relationship is the heartbeat of Jesus’ emotional life from which He derives grace to fulfill His call. Similarly, believers must preserve their emotional life by constantly dwelling in the Father’s love. This calls for disciplines that fend off the attacks of the devil who tries to undermine our identity as sons. The devil attacks our emotional life by causing us to look at our human weakness and failures. In the temptation of Jesus, the tempter came and said to Him,
“If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:3-4
Jesus came in the form of a common man putting on human mortalness. The devil takes occasion to tempt Jesus to deny His identity as a Son by appealing to His human weakness: If you are are the Son of God, command… Jesus, while at the end of His 40-day fast was experiencing the very reality of His mortalness in hunger and physical weakness. Jesus replied that He is God’s Son according to God’s word (“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased”) despite His mortal attributes. Therefore, as believers we must derive our identity from God’s word and not be undermined by our human weakness: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word… John 1:12 say, “But to all who did receive Jesus, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
- Do you often undermine yourself and esteem yourself lowly because of your heritage or your past failures? If Jesus is the Lord and Savior of your life, God is saying to you now, “You are my beloved Son whom I am well pleased.”
Dear Lord, I thank you for loving me and appointing me as your son. As your word says, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39). As I revel in your faithful love towards me, empower me to overcome my human weaknesses to achieve the impossible. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.