Have you ever heard a song that resonated with you so deeply that it made you ache?
I remember when I first heard these words attached to a compelling melody “This is your life, are you who you want to be?”
Hearing this song by Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman made my insides come alive with emotion and longing. It made me consider my life. It made me want to be a better man. It also made me want to be a songwriter.
I could tell you all about my great love for the songwriting abilities of Jon Foreman but that’s not really what this blog is about. This blog is about the question:
Are you who you want to be?
That’s an incredibly piercing question. It’s a somewhat painful question because the truth is that most of us are in fact not who we want to be. The question sheds some light on the fact that things are not the way they should be. It sheds light on the fact that there is this force, like gravity, that is pulling us away from who we would like to be. And when attached to a beautiful melody, it rings with all that we mourn in the wake of our own sinfulness and failures.
When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less.C.S. Lewis
I am not who I want to be.
Actually, the more I know Jesus, the more I realize how far away I am from being who I want to be. The quote by Lewis over on the right rings true for me. The healthier I become the more I see just how diseased I am.
I’m guessing that you are not who you want to be either.
Well, this blog is my attempt to encourage us both with Proverbs 23:12
Apply yourself to discipline and listen to words of knowledge.
We never drift towards who we want to be.
Even after we believe in Christ and are saved through Him, we have these sin habits that are pulling on us everyday like great currents pulling us underwater. To give into drifting is to give into death. Jesus has come so that we can have the abundant version of our life, not the mediocre version we settle for. He has come to empower us to run our race with diligence so that we can cross the finish line with a smile on our face…not weary and heavily burdened with regrets.
It’s a shame to spend our lives accumulating regrets.
We must, therefore, pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away.Hebrews 2:1
My encouragement to you is to fight against drifting through life.
I realize that doing things such as reading your Bible and praying sometimes seem to be dull, lifeless and ritualistic.
My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.Jack KerouacConsider this, doesn’t exercise and budgeting seem dull and blah at times too? And yet those who embrace these disciplines have a higher quality of life. Rarely do you encounter a healthy or financially stable person who regrets the time that they spent running or planning.
Disciplining ourselves isn’t about legalism or doing what is right so that we can be MADE right before God. Rather, in Christ, we have been given the POWER to discipline ourselves in order to achieve the abundant life that God intended for us. We have been given the POWER to FIGHT against the gravitation force of sinful habits, thought processes, and beliefs.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act, but a habit. AristotleOne way we tap into that power everyday is by spending time in His Word, renewing our mind, reminding ourselves of what is true and by spending time connecting with our Father in prayer.
Reading my Bible is a joy to me at this point in my life.
I don’t consider myself super awesome. If anything, I’m like one of those crazy people who love running.
Admittedly though, I haven’t always loved reading my Bible. Consistent Bible reading started as a healthy discipline in my life.
I still don’t always love reading my Bible. Sometimes I wake up and I’m ready to move on to something else… I’m continually learning that I have to discipline myself to slow down and focus on what God has for me today. The more I do it, the easier it gets because I’ve found that I ALWAYS benefit. I’ve tried running and so let me just tell you the the endorphins of meeting with God through His Word and prayer are WAY BETTER.
Not only that, but the fruit it produces in my life is sweet, powerful, and exponential in growth.
I’m becoming more of who I want to be.
If you are reading this and you’re drifting through life… you believe on Jesus Christ, you go to church, you’re a generally decent person, but you aren’t being diligent in “training yourself in godliness” (1Timothy 4:7)…. you are just seriously missing out. There is so much more LIFE to be had in Christ. So much more joy. So much more depth and richness. So much more peace. So much more love.
You’ve given drifting its day… where has it gotten you? Why don’t you give “applying yourself to discipline” a try to see if it bears better fruit in your life?
Anybody can follow the ordinary; but the moment you want to do something unusual, the moment you want to reach the heights, you will find that there are not many trying to do the same.Martyn Loyd-JonesIt’s hard and challenging… all discipline is… but you have a God who wants to meet with you and help you succeed at all the things that really matter most in this life and the next.
With the music we make, our hope is that these songs can assist you as you’re spending time in God’s Word. Songs can help us remember scripture and things that God has taught us. Powerful songs can also help reignite wonder and awe. They can help us feel the truth that we know.
So we write songs to communicate what God is showing us and doing in our lives and we’re hoping that this fruit from our time with Him will go on to help bear fruit in your life.
Apply yourself to discipline. Don’t drift. Run the race. Fight for your life. It’s worth it.