It is the word we hate to acknowledge but undoubtedly know it’s something imperative to life. As the scripture states:
“Now no chastening (discipline) seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
The Bible got it right when using the adjective painful. Initially no one wants to consistently workout, arrive on time or even take off makeup off at night (if I can be honest). In order to be and remain disciplined there must be a consistent internal driving factor. That internal factor is the desire to be righteousness and holy (set apart) before God.
If what one is doing does not push one toward Christ, re-examination is needed to determine what one is attempting to accomplish and who it is being done for. Even completing things for “one’s self” can be self-sabotaging pointing to self-righteousness.
The world gets it wrong claiming all one needs is willpower to accomplish their goals and to remain disciplined. That is so far from the truth! That is why there is a record number of people in a mental health crisis because they are simply burned out from using their own strength. One may start off well but burn out will be waiting if the why isn’t linked with the pursuit of Christ through righteousness and holiness.
"Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace
with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
2 Timothy 2:22
Fleeing youthful lusts include thoughts of self-autonomy and self-righteousness. The goal instead is to humble oneself daily to hear from God to operate in His strength. Self-denial anchored by the love of the Lord is what fuels self-discipline. With His strength discipline can not only be sustained but accomplished to carry out life purposefully.
“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;”
Philippians 3:8-9 NKJV
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,
out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.””
John 7:38 NKJV
Ask the Lord to strengthen your level of discipline as you focus less on you and more on him. Begin disciplining yourself in everyday tasks such as timeliness, exercise, food choices, household chores and even washing off makeup at the end of the day.
This will help build the character of discipline and daily diligence required for more significant instructions to come.