At the end of each year, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the past while preparing for a better, more prosperous new year. Yet, according to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. The underlying reason why our plans fail is because of a lack of discipline. We make vision boards but fail to make action plans. Your enemy, the Devil, is organized and uses coordinated attacks against you. That’s why it’s so important to remain disciplined, make schedules, budget your money, be punctual, etc. How can you defeat an organized foe if you’re unorganized?
Spiritual formation is the stance we take when fighting back against the attacks of the Devil. Your fighting stance is the most fundamental position that you will ever learn in any type of fight. Getting into spiritual formation will require you to be disciplined, align yourself with God and trust His process.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self- discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
It’s important for you to understand that God has already given you the gift of discipline. As Christians, it is our responsibility to cultivate that discipline so that when the enemy attacks we do not give into our fears, worries, doubts or temptations. Create boundaries in your personal, spiritual and physical lives and enforce them. Discipline requires you to sacrifice short-term satisfaction for long-term gains, or as Joyce Meyer put it, “discipline enables you to think first and act second.”
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Wheel misalignment causes your vehicle to become off-center, making it more difficult to steer. Drivers will notice that it takes more effort to steer their vehicles in a straight line when wheels are not aligned properly. Just like a car, when we are not aligned with God our lives become off-centered, making life more difficult to navigate. The enemy wants to keep you off-centered, misaligned with God. Getting into alignment with God will require you to pray, seek and obey His commands even when they do not make sense. That may mean separating from some of your plans and relationships. You will be in alignment with God when your thoughts, words and actions reflect His will for your life.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
Once you strengthen your discipline and align yourself with God’s will then you will be ready to trust in the Lord. Your opposition wants you to surrender before the fight. He knows that you will win if you don’t give-up, so he wants you to be discouraged, to lose your faith and quit. If you trust in God, you will be like David when facing Goliath and able to declare your victory before the battle begins. Get out of your own way and place your trust in God. He will give you the strength and grace you need to overcome all the attacks of the enemy.
We are under constant attack from an enemy that is after our mind, peace and happiness. Being in spiritual formation will help you fight against those attacks. So, remain disciplined, align yourself with God and trust His process. You already have the victory!