Why Is Spiritual Discipline Necessary?
by Pastor's Corner on June 2nd, 2015


​“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! (16) So, because you are luke-warm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” John records the heart of God revealed to him concerning the Church in Laodicea.  It is apparent that the will of God is that those who follow Him would be hot or cold, saved or lost, totally drenched or completely dry.  This seems to be something that the Father can deal with while being luke-warm or straddling the fence appears to be more of a challenge to Him.  In short, God does not like luke-warm people who claim to be His followers.  No man can go in two directions at the same time or jump up and down at the same time.  The fact is that one must make a decision about the direction that he or she is going to take.  This demands a decision and requires discipline.
We must be reminded that we are living in an age when it has become increasingly more difficult to tell who is hot or who is cold.  This was not always the case.  Many of you reading this blog can potentially remember when life was more defined than it is now.  In those times everyone seemed to agree on the foundational or fundamental standards that defined what was right and what was wrong.  Even if one did wrong, they were not confused about whether what they did was wrong.  There was an awareness that was consistent regardless of who a person was or what a person believed.  However, in this age in which we live there is great discussion about what represents the norm or what definition can be accepted by everyone as right.  It is evident today that the norm no longer is represented by any consistent standard of good or bad or right or wrong.  Therefore, one might conclude that luke-warm has become the standard of the day.
If this is the case, then the question that has been asked is a valid question.  Why is spiritual discipline necessary?  First, one must address what discipline is.  According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, discipline is defined as: a) control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behavior, b) a way of behaving that shows a willingness to obey rules or orders, and c) behavior that is judged by how well it follows a set of rules or orders.  From these definitions, it is apparent that discipline can only be realized by its relationship to rules or orders and how one responds to them.  Without rules or orders there is no need for discipline.  The end result is that everyone is free to do whatever they feel is appropriate because there are no rules or orders that dictate what is right or what is wrong.  This conclusion reflects the times in which we are living.  Society at large seems to focus on finding the luke-warm position whether than drawing a conclusion about what is right or wrong; or in this context—what is hot or cold.  Taking the luke-warm position has become the norm for many in our society today.
I remind you that this word communicated by John was directed to the church.  This is an important revelation to realize because the role of the church was to represent God’s standard in the earth.  If the church becomes confused about what is right or wrong, then the world has no way of discerning whether it is hot or cold.  It is the “spiritual” voice of the church that reveals to the world that it is not hot but cold.  It is the witness of the church that testifies to God’s position concerning what He expects when it comes to His will.  When the church becomes luke-warm the world becomes confused.  The result of this position by the church causes God to respond.  His response has not changed. He still desires that the church would be hot, or better still—disciplined, remaining consistent in its witness to those who are lost.  This demands “spiritual discipline” which is critical if the church is to “be the light of the world” and “the salt of the earth.” When this same problem existed in the New Testament church, God revealed that He was about to spit those who misrepresented His will in the earth out of His mouth.  Is it possible that He might have this same response for the church today?
As the church, we have the awesome opportunity to avoid the mistake made in the past.  However, if there was ever a time that the church needed to witness “spiritual discipline” to the world, it is now.  Let us pray that we would be a witness of what is hot, not cold, and not become comfortable with any position that is luke-warm!
In His Service,
Dr. Clarence V. Boyd, Jr.
Senior Pastor, RRTEC

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