Godliness through Discipline


Do you remember the last time that you left a church service fired up to change? You were determined to be different. “This time,” you said, “I mean it; I am going to become the person that God wants me to be!” By Tuesday the fire had burned out….[1]

Here it is, another bright and crisp New Year’s day. Scores of Christians have made some pretty serious commitments to “get things right in their lives.” New Year’s resolutions are riddled with renewed commitments to Bible reading, prayer, fasting, church attendance, sharing their faith, and countless other stuff Christians believe are important. But like Jay Adams wrote above, it doesn’t take long to lose steam.

May I humbly suggest something? Godliness doesn’t come merely through human effort and goal setting. Holiness requires the empowering of the Holy Spirit acting in concert with the efforts of the believer. All too often, the Christians that I know (and I must include myself in this), find themselves frustrated because they either strive for holiness without a full-hearted dependence upon the Spirit’s assistance, or they leave all the heavy lifting to the Spirit and think that He will somehow zap them with godliness with little effort on their part.

So, as you write up your lists of resolutions to be more disciplined toward godliness this year, prayerfully seek the power of the Spirit to carry those goals out. Then roll up your proverbial sleeves and put in the holy sweat that God requires of all who strive for godliness.

Happy New Year!

[1] Jay Adams, Godliness Through Discipline, P&R, 1972; 1. [I highly recommend this little booklet!]

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