Walk by Faith Based Discipline...
ETIW Weekly Newsletter: August 21 2023
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To Begin, What does it mean to walk by faith?
When we walk by faith we are met with the peace that surpasses understanding. Faith is the belief or trust in something or someone, without requiring proof or evidence. It is often associated with religious or spiritual beliefs. However, faith can, and should, be practically applied to our life as a whole. But let’s be honest, we all know faith can sometimes feel especially challenging.
What is the value of self-discipline?
When we are struggling with our faith our self-discipline might also begin to falter. After all, what is the point of continuing to do something if the dial does not seem to be moving? However, to be disciplined requires exercising our strength and ability to walk by faith.
Living life means walking in the darkness.
When you walk in darkness you are sure to be surprised by whatever you encounter on your journey. But if you walk by faith with the Light into the darkness, you know every step you take will be guided. However, if your steps are inconsistent… things could get tricky… For you, not the Light. The Light will be just fine, patiently waiting for you to get with the program.
Moving on, Who is the Author of my story?
Back when I believed God living in me meant I was God, I thought I had to learn to master the art of using my “wonderful human imagination to visualize my desires into reality” (this is a Neville Goddard teaching). I thought I had to be the full-time author of my life. In retrospect, I realize it was a misleading Adam&Eve-ish game of the blind (me) leading the blind (also me).
I felt a lot of pressure to do everything I could to turn the tides in my favor.
That is what led me to tarot, manifestation, visualization, alternative spiritual techniques, and searching for the next spiritual high through psychedelic experiences that were supposed to bring me insight! etc. And guess what? They were all temporary reliefs. None of it ever had a 100% success rate and it left me feeling like a failure.
What is Faith and how were these practices keeping me from it?
Faith is an empowering belief that can unleash the full potential of your life. It goes beyond just a religious or spiritual concept. Unlike these false new-age practices I, like many other, unintentionally fell into, faith gives you hope when you are facing the unknown and can guide you to discover the true purpose of your existence. It is a powerful force that has the ability to transform your life into something extraordinary. But it requires surrender. It requires humility. Most importantly, It requires a willingness to allow God to be God.
Therefore, When I began to walk by faith with God again I realized not only am I not God, I didn’t want to be!
I’d rather be His co-author and let Him map out the story because…
- God knows the inner workings of every heart
- (1 Corinthians 2:11)
- He has been around since literally forever and has seen everything under the sun. Therefore He knows how to handle any situation better than I ever can
- (Genesis 1:1)
- God has a 100% sturdy and trustworthy character
- (Hebrews 13:8 )
- He allows me free will and wants to write a beautiful life story for me
- (2 Peter 3:9)
But I have to be willing to walk by faith...
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
~ Psalm 119:105 ~
Next, What does any of this have to do with Self-Discipline??
The creator of the universe is forgiving and loving, (2 Peter 3:9) He knows and accepts that humans can be “full of it”. This is why He is so patient towards us whenever we mess up.
I have messed up a lot in my life. However, God knows my heart. He sought me as I sought Him ( Psalms 145:18-20) and chose to forgive me. And once I surrendered to God’s process, I realized I had to fall deeper into living my life based on faith.
"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also"
~ James 2:26 ~
There is a condition to God’s forgiveness, and it is more for our good than His.
He wants us to begin to let go of the old and become a “new person” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We must be willing to cultivate new habits. This is accomplished most simply by cultivating DISCIPLINE.
If you wanted to get fit, would you drink 6 cans of soda every day or spend at least 30 minutes a day being active? One is relatively easy to do, and the other requires discipline.
If you want a successful monogamous relationship, will you make out with everyone you think is cute, or cultivate self-control and commitment towards your partner?
If you want a more stable financial situation, will you go to Atlantic City or Vegas to have a wild night of spending & gambling? Or will you practice control by putting portions of your income into savings, and begin to be a good steward of what you currently have.
The examples can go on and on…
I want to build a business I am proud of. Still, there are many days I feel tired and wonder why I am working on projects when it feels like nothing is gaining “traction”.
Then I remember that in my case, God is not only my Father & Light in the darkness of this unknown path. He is also my boss.
When the boss is out of the office, should the employee slack and not show up for work? Or should she be a diligent worker who is disciplined enough to do what her boss expects from her? Does that not show she genuinely loves her job, has respect for her employer, and has faith in what she has been assigned to accomplish? (Refer to: Talents parable in Matthew 25:14–30)
In conclusion, there is value in discipline because it helps the journey into the unknown. As we work on our discipline, we make room for God’s spirit in us to shine through with deeper wisdom and clarity. This ultimately helps us cultivate a faith-based lifestyle. Trusting if we do our part, God can better do His.
God is trusting us with free will on how we choose to spend our own time, energy, and life. Things begin to feel less hopeless when God isn’t the only reliable part of the puzzle. Becoming stable and consistent about who I want to become helps me remain open to God’s guidance through the valleys of life. It gives me the resilience to walk by faith in the promises He has made over the lives of those who trust in Him.
Are you ready to enjoy the journey of self-discipline? Are you ready to be a co-author by showing up as a version of yourself who trusts the author of the universe only wants what is best for you? Even when you don’t know how the pieces will come together?