The more I read the Bible, the more I learn that when Jesus speaks, Jesus does not give options. There is no out. There is no plan B. As disciples, we believe that Scripture is our ultimate authority.
In Matthew 6, Jesus implies that we should already be in the process of doing what He is saying. In verse 2, Jesus says, “when you give.” In verse 5, “when you pray.” In verse 16, “when you fast.” The word when takes into account that the people within the sound of Jesus’ voice was already in the habit of doing these things.
As disciples, we have entered into a lifelong journey, a process by which from the moment of salvation to the point when God desires to take us from this Earth, we are being conformed more and more to the image of Christ.
Jesus did not offer giving, praying and fasting as suggestions. To be a disciple, the word itself requires that we live a life of discipline. Discipline is a means by which we bring our “self” under control. We need to break habits that feed the desires of our old “self” and seek to develop new habits that focus on the Spirit.
I know in my own life that I need more discipline. I need to develop more godly habits. I desire to feed and grow my Spirit and put to death the desires of my old “self.” Some days are easier than others. The hard days are when I need to put my old “self” in a choke hold and suffocate the life out of it. It is only when we put to death the deeds of our old “self” that our spirit has a chance to truly grow and flourish through feeding on Scripture.
What new habits do you need to develop as you continue on your journey to conform more to the image of Christ?