Let us not sacrifice discipline in the name of grace.

This morning as I laid in bed at 5:05am my mind wrestled with whether or not to get up. It was like a tug-o-war where the flag danced between the lines of full awareness and unconscious slumber. A still small voice was singing words from a hymn that I can’t quite recall now, while my mind was reasoning to itself that it had only been recovering a mere five hours. I agree that the words were beautiful; I also know that I hate being tired. And while I knew if I chose to get up it would only mean my good, I also thought about how good a couple extra hours minutes would feel.

Two weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend where I encouraged her to intentionally carve out time in her busy schedule to pursue those sacred moments she used to so frequently share with the Lord. And as it so often does, the Spirit gently prodded my heart asking me if I was willing to follow the same advice I’d so freely given? It wasn’t condemnation, merely conviction, that I too had let slip the discipline of intentionality. I say discipline of intentionality because all discipline takes intentionality. When intentionality in my life goes, so does every discipline.

Since leaving full-time training last fall, I’ve struggled with intentionality; mostly because the direction of life went from so focused to incredibly broad. Without a passionate focus, discipline in many ways has fallen by the wayside. And in the name of grace, I believe Christ has allowed a greater understanding of His unconditional love for me whether I am disciplined or not. However, He has been reminding me of late that while I do not earn His love by being intentional, I surely experience it through intentionality. Whenever Jesus spoke He would say things like, “when you fast… when you pray… when you give…”

When. Not if.

It wasn’t even a thought in His mind that we would not do these things, so why do I think they’re optional? In training I would never (okay almost never) let drills, and conditioning, and all the little disciplined things slip by, because I knew that to be all I could be as an athlete was dependent upon those things. But somehow when it comes to faith, in the name of grace, I let them slip by. And the reality of it is that I am letting Christ slip by. As He sung those sweet words to my spirit this morning, He was calling me to Himself. Gently. Quietly. Persistently.

Today I had the choice to intentionally get up or comfortably remain (like I said before His love is not dependent upon either decision). However choosing to remain in the name of grace would have meant missing out on experiencing grace through intentionality! If we are to know and be known by Jesus in a way that changes our hearts and in turn changes the world, let us not sacrifice discipline in the name of grace.