The problem with most Christian men today is we lack discipline! Whether it’s reading our Bibles, praying, or just trying to keep our eyes to ourselves, we lack a “spiritual discipline.” In essence, we have become “spiritual sissies.”
“5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[a] and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities[b] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers,[c] be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.” — 2 Peter 1:5-12
Take a moment and recall a time in your life when you were called a “sissy.” It might have been jumping over a creek, climbing a tree, or even sports. Someone challenged you by calling you a “sissy.” Much like myself, you probably have two memories. First, is that memory of accomplishment. The challenge was thrown, and you conquered it. The second, well, it’s of failure. It’s that memory that even still today, you wish you had one more opportunity to prove you’re not a “sissy.”
If God looked at you, do you think he’d see a lack of spiritual discipline? The Bible, His love story to us, is one big challenge and we often fall short. It shows in our personal lives, our marriages, as fathers, in church attendance, at work, in our accountability, and especially in discipleship. We have often lacked discipline when it comes to God’s word.
God’s word has all the answers to our worries, questions, and problems but we are looking everywhere else but His Word. Why? Because we have become lazy, complacent and disobedient to His word. We are a generation that has grown biblically illiterate.
So how do we fix it?
Well, I believe we fix it by beginning with 3- spiritual disciplines. If we claim to be a Christian, there are 3 things we should be doing daily.
First, read your Bible! EVERYDAY! I tell guys “Do not eat physically until you “eat” spiritually. Nothing will set your day off better than reading your Bible. Sit down with your Bible, a cup of your favorite morning beverage and start reading. Read a few verses or ready a couple of books. Whatever God leads you too. Keep a pen and paper handy to write down things you may want to look up later. Don’t spend time in a study; just read!
Then pray! Spend some time in prayer. Just open up to God about what’s on your heart. Talk with him just like He was right there. One of the great things about the apostles is that they had an opportunity to ask Jesus anything they wanted. You know what they asked? They asked, “Lord, teach us how to pray?” WOW. The apostle saw the change that happened to Jesus every time He prayed, and they wanted the same thing!
Lastly, learn to repent! Not to only ask for forgiveness, but repent. The word repent in the Greek is a military term that means “an about-face.” In other words, learn to walk away from your sins! Run the other direction from them. Don’t just ask for forgiveness but do your best never to return to them.
Spiritual discipline is not easy. But it is doable. Peter, in his second book, gives a great example of the Christian walk and how we should follow the virtues he points out. Read that section of verses and apply it to your life.
About the author: Jody Burkeen, the founder of Man Up God’s Way and Pastor of Ignite Church.
Thanks so much I learned a lot about bible today.
Thank you for this and all of your posts!
Do you think the lack of spiritual discipline you describe in men today is any more significant in today’s world than in biblical times?
Matt, that is a great question. Since the fall of man way back in the Garden, it’s been a back and forth with man’s desire of God. You can read about all of that in the old testament. But I think as we have gotten more distracted as a society and have a tendency to not have room for God in our lives. We have access to things we shouldn’t have access to and crowds our life. It’s why as you’ll see in our stats, men don’t invest in themselves, their families or communities because they are too busy doing other things. Those “things” will only get more and more as time goes on. We have to set aside time for God as he does NOT move back and forth with his desire for us.
I think when we all took stock of the way we spend our time, we’d realize we have more to spend with God and reading His Word.
Thanks for being Uncommen Matt
Time alone with God, every morning, is the best thing I’ve done to improve my walk with him. I only wish I’d begun this practice sooner.
awesome. I started doing this almost a year ago getting up at five going into the bible app reading scripture and devotions and a time of prayer This has change my life Im happy free and joyfull. asking God to prune me and make into what He wants me to be bringing needs before Him. He is so loving and kind and shows up every morning draw close to Him and He does the same I strongly recomend this to all if you want Gods best
Thank you for the sound advice. Spiritual discipline has always been tough for me. It really boils down to intensionality and desire.
This challenge is always before us. I want to express a certain degree of caution here: first it may seem mechanical what you are doing especially reading the word and praying. Continue to do read and pray,you will break through into a of Rich time of fellowship with Yeshua/ Hebrew for Jesus.
Thank you Jody; what a great reminder. It’s so easy to get caught up in the business of life, and iit never fails to amaze me how taking time to start the day with His truth seems to bring clarity to all things. We desperately need men to step up and accept your challenge.
Super good post. Thanks heaps for the challenge. Y’all are legends.
This is a great reminder to us all to continue to seek God. Complacency is a silent killer. It is like a weed that springs up choke what has been created to bear good fruit. Putting reminders on our many devices is one way to stay focus on any or all of these three disciplines. Adding it to your calendar assured that you have a blocked time for prayer in the middle of the day. Try this for a week and see the results.
Thank you for your faithfulness!
In Christ; Ely~
Thank you for this encouragement, I always draw my strength from the Lord every morning by studying and praying first thing in the morning before anything else. I feel frustrated with out praying every day. Our relationship with God matters a lot
Great one.. Thanks
Great advice. Feed yourself spiritually before you feed yourself physically. A great way to start your day.