I grew up in a small town of roughly 10,000 people and in that small town, high school sports were a big focus. Friday nights in the fall revolved around high school football games, winter nights were spent at the basketball court, and spring afternoons were spent at the track or the soccer field. As an athlete in this small town, we were expected to be enrolled in a course called zero hour, which was a weightlifting course that took place at 0600 sharp, every morning before school started. This doesn’t really seem like a big deal nowadays, but as a 15 year old, getting up and moving that early was a chore and there were few days, if any, when I really looked forward to that early wake up call. Did I mention that before I had my drivers license, I drove a moped to the gym in 10° weather? That didn’t help either.
I start with this story because sometimes the spiritual aspects of my life can feel the same way - like a chore. Whether it’s doing my daily reading, reviewing my Scripture memory packs, or even praying, there are days when it just doesn’t come easy. As I’ve wrestled with this feeling and sometimes felt like maybe I was doing something wrong, I’ve been led to a few portions of Scripture that address this challenge.
1 Timothy 4:7 says:
“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness…”
Pay attention to the verbiage that Paul uses here. The fact that Paul uses the word “train” here implies that in order to live a life that could be defined by godliness, some effort would be necessary.
Paul is making this point because Timothy is living in the midst of a godless community, people who are devoting themselves to irreverent, silly myths and Paul is warning and spurring Timothy on to be disciplined in the midst of an undisciplined community.
While preparing to write this devotional and getting all my thoughts in order, I didn’t come across any Scripture that promised growing in godliness would be easy.
God wants our hearts and He wants us to pursue Him intentionally through diligent, disciplined practice every single day, even when it’s hard or feels inconvenient. While there isn’t a promise in Scripture that growing in godliness would be easy, there is Proverbs 13:4...
“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”
Do you crave to grow in godliness? As I have wrestled with being disciplined in my own pursuit of the Lord, I have been admonished and encouraged in this way and I pass it along here - don’t let your cravings be empty. If you desire to know God deeper, to love His Word more, to be equipped with Scripture, or to grow in prayer - pursue it. Build it into your day and be diligent enough to practice it every day.
Prayer is a huge gap in my spiritual life so for me it has looked like building out prayer cards for people and using those as a catalyst for prayer.
All those 10° mornings as a 15 year old ended up being worth it in the end. Four years of getting up early culminated in a state championship victory. Now, by no means do I find any worth in a high school state championship, but it’s a very tangible example of diligence paying off in the future, even when it seems unfeasible in the present.
The bracelet we've sold here at Humbled Daily since the beginning has Hebrews 12:11 on it for this very reason. Live with the future, and eternity, in mind.
For me, I think about the day when I’ll be a dad. I don’t want to give my kids just any advice, I want to give them advice that is backed by Scripture and consistent with the Word of God and the diligence with which I devote myself to the Scriptures and prayer now, will have great implications for how well I can be the dad that I want to be. Whatever it is for you, my encouragement is to be diligent. Your soul will thank you for it and will be richly supplied.