Do you, like many, struggle with self-discipline?
When we have no vision or goal we aspire to, scripture says we will “cast off restraint.” Why go through the rigors of self-denial and discipline if there’s no pay off? We need to have a clear picture of where we’re going in order to exercise the discipline necessary to get there.
Defining our aspirations determines future success perhaps more than any other factor. Dave Ramsey has helped thousands of people find victory in finances because he instructs them how to form specific goals that require saving rather than spending their money. Successful weight loss programs help people obtain their desired weight by teaching them how to set precise objectives. They learn that today’s sacrifices will be rewarded tomorrow.
Those of you who run marathons know the importance of having a specific goal for a specified amount of time. Runners don’t wake up on the day of the race and say, “I think I’ll run a 10 mile marathon today.” They make choices for weeks, possibly months, in advance to help them prepare in order to achieve the clear goal of making it across the finish line.
The importance of cultivating a lifestyle of discipline, however, extends far beyond finances and physical fitness. As believers in Christ, we have been given a huge assignment. Max Lucado writes, “You are a version of Joseph in your generation….You carry something of God in you, something noble and holy, something the world needs-wisdom, kindness, mercy, skill. If Satan can neutralize you, he can mute your influence.”
The challenge for us lies in the question….. what are our aspirations? Are they the same that God, our Creator, has for us? If we do not have a clear vision of being the “noble, holy something the world needs,” we will not develop the necessary discipline to resist Satan’s attempts to detour us.
Satan’s tactics haven’t changed much over the centuries. He whispered to Eve that a little bit of self-indulgence never hurt anyone. He tempted her to forget the restraints given by a killjoy God, fling caution to the wind and be her own god. So how did that work out?
Today is a great day to define your aspirations…and get rid of the hindrances. You were made for far more than you realize. Don’t let Satan steal your destiny.