The Discipline in Discipleship

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!”

– Hebrews 12:7-9

Did you know that to be a disciple literally means to be disciplined? A disciple means a disciplined or trained one, and to be trained means to do something that isn’t natural or easy. Passion is natural, but faithfulness is not. Fun, enjoyment and entertainment are things that come easy to us, but doing something that is hard is not. It is not natural to turn down an Oreo McFlurry, nor is it natural to play scales over and over again on keyboard. Anything that requires pain, sacrifice or repetitive persistence is easily dismissed by our flesh and replaced by excuses and justification for doing what’s easier.

When I was learning piano, I had to play some really difficult pieces, like by Rachmaninoff, and when I first attempted them, they sounded horrible! They were so hard that after I started, I wanted to give up and say, “forget it.” My initial passion flew out the window at the point at which playing no longer came naturally, and I think I would have given up completely but for a small voice inside that urged me to keep trying — that’s where discipline was required. No matter how awful it sounded, I went back to that music again and again until I had the songs mastered. It wasn’t natural, but it was worth it! Once I had the pieces nailed, my passion returned, but it was rebirthed in a totally different fashion. You see, for me, true passion was knowing those songs perfectly and not having to look at sheet music anymore; being able to play them from my heart, knowing that I had conquered them. But discipline was the cost required to experience that kind of passion.

You see, friend, real passion is a synthesis of your natural desires and skills and abilities, but it’s also the fruit of persistence and grit; only when you’ve worked through the hard bit can you play its song by heart. There is a journey required to fulfill every calling and there’s a price to be paid for becoming the person God wants you to be. However, as you walk hand-in-hand with Jesus, He takes the natural and makes it supernatural, picking up the slack for you and depositing His strength that does whatever you can’t. Isn’t that incredible news?


Thank you, Jesus, for giving me a spirit of discipline, not of fear. I commit to walking the road to my calling, no matter how rough, because I know that you are with me.


In what areas of your life have you broken through to a place of true passion following a period of intense training and discipline? How does it feel?

Receive your daily eDevotional

Don't miss new updates in your email!

2 Responses

  1. I live in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada and we get your church services on Sundays, early in the afternoon. I really look forward each Sunday to watch your Hour of Power and I have been watching it for many years. My husband is in a nursing home and I live in our house. We each do our best to watch and the singing, choir, guests singers, etc.really adds a lot to the service. If for some unknown reason I am not able to watch the church service, I have it on my computer and I can watch it later. I ask for your prayers for my husband, my oldest and youngest sons who for some unknown are not communicating with us. I speak for myself, I do not understand why and I wrote a letter to our oldest son(mailed with signature) and I have not heard a word from him. It just breaks my heart, as I do not know why, and this does add more stress to my life. When I pray, I do ask God Why and I still am not getting an answer. Even thought our sons are married with children, it has been months since I have even heard a Hello from them.
    Gentle, Blessings,
    Sandra Buckle

  2. 6 years ago my 89 Volvo my dying dad gave me was totaled and saved me from injury. Being financially poor, I vowed to buy another and become my own mechanic, it scared me, but discipline prevailed and now I have a car i call the Blue Angel through God’s learning curve and spirit that helped me persevere. Thank you oh so much Lord for helping work safely and fight the good fight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *