There are some days when it is hard to get moving; you just don't want to get out of bed. Sure there is a long list of things to do, but it would also be great to be able just to stay under the covers and keep the world at bay for a few more minutes. Then there are those days when, even though you did get out of bed, you just don't feel like doing those things on your list. If only we had fewer responsibilities, fewer items on the "to do" list, fewer work hours in the day. This flesh can get lazy at times.
Now, I am not talking about those necessary down times or vacations. Our bodies and minds need rest. God created it and we need it. But there are times when we want to take rest in the midst of the work. It is at those times that we have to dig a little deeper, push a little harder. It can make the difference between success and failure in the day. It is no different spiritually. There are a lot of parallels in the physical and spiritual realms.
How often have you felt too tired to spend time in the Word or to go to the Lord in prayer? How many days or weeks have you spent having nothing to do with God except for your little prayer before you eat? How many times has the Spirit provoked us to call or visit someone but we just didn't feel like it? Our spiritual failure often happens because we do not know how to push through those moments. It is called discipline and many of us lack it. It is the reason our walk with Jesus is often more like a roller coaster ride.
We admire someone like apostle Paul but we are not willing to pay the price to serve with the intensity he had in service. And when we encounter other Christians who do have that similar spirit we often marginalize them so we don't feel guilty. They have discipline and we don't. They have determination and we don't. They push through and we don't. We decide that they are not normal and we are. But, according to the Kingdom they are the normal ones.
This is what Paul said about keeping his flesh in check so that the Spirit would reign:
You know that many runners enter a race, and only one of them wins the prize. So run to win! Athletes work hard to win a crown that cannot last, but we do it for a crown that will last forever. I don’t run without a goal. And I don’t box by beating my fists in the air. I keep my body under control and make it my slave, so I won’t lose out after telling the good news to others. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
The knowledge of how to make our bodies our slave is something that the Church is lacking. Wait, let me get personal with this; it is something that I am lacking. I am doing my best to gain it back but I know the ability to do so only comes from the Holy Spirit, so I am taking steps to ensure every day that he has control. I do this by repenting for every incident where I took control back. By being aware of what I am doing I am demonstrating a deep desire to change. The Word says that God loves a repentant heart.
We are a new creation because of Jesus and we live that out by the Holy Spirit in us, but it means we must take control of our bodies. It means the desires of our flesh must be denied so the will of the Father will be our priority. It doesn't mean austere actions but a disciplined approach to life. Just as we need to know the right foods to eat and the right activities to participate in for a healthy body, we need a regime of discipline to feed our spirit what it needs and to participate in activities that bring health. It means we need to say no to ourselves or understanding the words enough and satisfied. It means a denying of self and taking up that cross. It means following Jesus, not just admiring him. It means keeping the body under control and making it do what we want it to do.
A walk with Jesus is not a coasting along in life; it is a process, a growing, an increasing, knowing what our goal is and making the correct decisions to enable our Lord to get us there. So get off that spiritual coach and do something. Plan out your day to include alone time with Jesus. Decide on a course of study in the Word. Plan worship in your day. Seek the face of God. Ask for a greater anointing. Seek more of the Spirit. Meet with brothers and sisters to pray, share in testimony and encourage one another. So no to evil. Turn your back on the enemy of your soul. Pray with and for your spouse. Pray with and for your children. Pray for your parents instead of criticizing them. Fight for your pastor and the church leadership. Desire greater maturity, a closer walk, greater sensitivity to the Spirit and to be used in the battle for the souls of this doomed planet.
At the very least, take the first step; get out of bed.