Saturday, December 04, 2004

discipline and hopelessness

on the second day of second semester my junior year, my first TR class, i had intro to ministry. we had to make name cards to set in front of us on the tables. it was a class of about 40 i think. on the back of our name cards we had to write one thing we wanted to gain or develop over that semester, with regards to our life and ministry.
i wrote "discipline"
that was 3 years ago.
and i feel no more disciplined today than i did then, maybe even less so.
but i have learned some things in those 3 years. one thing i learned is that discipline, true Godly discipline, is not about my own determination and grit and ability to act.
but i'm not sure what it IS about.
i've been feeling pretty frustrated lately. frustrated with life in general. frustrated with my performance in this great drama. frustrated with my conflicting desires, and with my inability to or at least my failure to choose the better of those desires to satisfy. sometimes i get frustrated and then start feeling sorry for myself because i'm so miserable. but with all the reading i've been doing lately about pain and suffering - books like "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom - i really have no room to complain or feel self-pity at all.
so i'm living a Romans 7 sort of life, and in the middle of it all it seems pretty hopeless. but i just got an email from the worship minister at my church, Tom Perkins, with the sound file for a song we are singing tomorrow morning - "Refiner's Fire." "refiner's fire, my heart's ONE desire is to be holy, set apart for YOU, LORD, i CHOOSE to be holy, set apart for YOU, my master, ready to do YOUR will" so it's not about living according to my will. although it seems like a catch-22. i mean, if i have to CHOOSE to be holy and live according to God's will, then isn't that dependent upon my ability to make that choice and stick with it? isn't it dependent on whether or not i will live according to my will - my will that says "i want to live out God's will"?
i hate logic sometimes. but i've heard randy harris quoted as saying, "who died and made reason king?"
all right, i'm sort of rambling now, but you get the point.
lack of discipline.
and life goes on.
God, please be the one desire of my heart. do not let me crowd you out with other desires. refine me.


i just got this in my email - the text for a thought of the day from Dr. John Willis.

Hebrews 13:20-21:

  "Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen."

i want this to be true in my life - in my heart and my spirit, and not just my mind.