Years ago I was able to sit and listen to an amazing man of God speak about his life and how difficult it was to learn the simple lessons of faith.  I recall thinking how crazy it was to hear him say these things, after all he was a great man of faith and his life was an example of that truth.  Many years later I read of his struggles early in his faith journey and I began to really relate.  God used those struggles in his life to teach me important lessons about the daily disciplines of life.

Growing up I had an incredible opportunity to me influenced by several older guys in my youth group.  For some reason these guys were willing to let me tag along on several events that later would change my life.  One of those events was a concert that several of my friends were going to and I went along thinking this would be cool.  I knew the artist well and knew it would be an incredible experience.  Little did I know how much his life would impact mine.

I will never forget sitting in the upper level of the Atlanta Civic Center and looking down on the stage to see a single piano with no top on it and a mic stand with a monitor.  That was it!  Nothing else on stage, no band, no big sound system, no special lighting.  Then while we all were still talking to one another in the room a man walked out sat down and began to play.  After a few minutes the room became hushed and the piano was all we heard.  The music coming from that piano was like nothing I had ever heard before.  His ability to play was so incredible that many in the room just stood to their feet in awe of the God-given talent we were all witnessing.  I will never forget being at that first Keith Green concert and truly experiencing God in the midst of the music.

Years later I read of his struggles with his faith journey and recall specifically his struggle at one point with daily time with the Lord.  I know as many of us who seek to follow Him closely find out along the journey it can be rocky at times.  Daily time with the Lord can become a difficult thing to remain focused on and keep consistent.  I recall Keith Green sharing that struggle with a close friend at one point.  It was like his prayers were bouncing off the ceiling, he shared.  Any one ever felt that way?  I know I have.  However, the question from his friend threw me off at first.  Keith's friend asked him about making his bed every day.  At first it seemed like a very silly question until the friend connected the dots.

The daily disciplines of life are the framework upon which we hang the daily disciplines of our faith journey.  These daily disciplines of life will be clear outward indicators of our level of discipline in our faith journey.  This truth has rocked my world more than once in the past thirty plus years of this journey.  You see, if you and I do not develop good daily habits of daily life, we will more than likely not develop good daily habits in our faith journey either.  As I sit here and write these words I am reflecting on the journey and recognizing the times I have struggled and the times I have felt like it was all working well.

Man I am so thankful for the patience of so many people in my life in the past.  I reflect on my journey and realize just how stubborn and arrogant I must have come across as I struggled through some of my years of faith journey and even ministry.  Throughout the past couple of years the daily disciplines of health and exercise have become much more important to us as a family.  Many of you have followed the journey.   I have learned through the mental battles to run and eat right, that the disciplines of faith are even more work and of even greater importance than I understood earlier in my journey.  In fact the journey of running has greatly helped me understand how much more effort I need to invest in the disciplines of this faith journey.

You see, if I do not make my bed every day, then I begin my day with a lazy, unorganized approach to the day the Lord has granted me.  This attitude will affect every other area of my life.  This laziness then spills over into the time I devote or do not devote to the Lord and His Word.  This lack of being in His Word then affects what I am able to hear from Him and how I am able to understand what He desires  for me to do with my time and resources He has gifted me with this day.  This then leads to a lack of organization and management of my time throughout the day which causes me to be wasteful and irresponsible.  The dominoes just keep falling throughout the day.  Eventually it becomes a pattern of behavior that is very hard to break without a swift and strong rebuke from the Lord!

How are your daily disciplines of daily life?  How are your daily disciplines of your faith journey?  Are you seeing the fruit of the Spirit growing in your daily life?  Are you becoming more like Jesus every day?  Do the things that weigh heavy on the heart of God seemed to be weighty subjects of your conversation with Him?

I will be the first to admit I struggle with the daily disciplines of life and faith.  Yet, God has granted me a helper in this journey and I am so thankful for the passion for discipline that my wife has.  I have learned so much from her about the daily journey we are walking together.  I long for the day when the daily disciplines of the faith journey are as natural as making my bed and brushing my teeth!  Today will you join me in seeking to be disciplined and lets all Make Our Beds!

In His Grip,
JT