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Decisions and Discipline

I am a Christian who writes, not a Christian writer. I don't want to limit myself or box myself in to one genre or another. So I don't want any of you to be surprised when my book comes've been warned...LOL!

However, there are times when I am compelled to write from a Christian point of view. As such, I have recently been tasked with writing a monthly encouragement memo for my church. It's been pressed upon me to share one of my recent writings with all of you who follow my blog. I changed it up a little to fit my audience here, and I hope it encourages you too.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (MSG)

…I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

We are still in the first quarter of 2021. At the beginning of the year some of us may have made resolutions verbally, or even wrote them down in our journals, or chose to make vision boards. Perhaps there are some things that we hoped to be delivered from and we lay it on the altar and ask the Lord for help in ridding ourselves of it during this first part of the year. There may be times when we feel like we have gotten the deliverance that we needed, and other times we feel that we didn’t. Could it be that when we feel that we haven’t been delivered from an issue, those are the times that God wants us to decide to practice discipline?

As Paul shows us in 2 Corinthians, he was given a thorn in his flesh, and he asked the Lord 3 times to remove it. The message version of the Bible calls it a “gift of a handicap”. I can’t think of too many times a handicap is considered a gift because handicaps are usually limiting in our abilities. But if we think of a handicap as applied in the game of golf, it is a number that is assigned to a superior competitor to even the chances for all participants. Paul realized that without this handicap, he could run the risk of becoming proud. This handicap, in fact, kept him on his knees where he had no chance of becoming prideful. Considering this fact, I’m sure that after Paul heard the Lord tell him that his grace was enough, that he made the decision to practice discipline in the area where his flesh was weak.

If you find that after prayer, consecration, or meditation, that your “handicap” has not left you, consider it a gift that the Lord only gives to his most superior children to level the playing field. He hasn’t delivered you from it because he wants you to seek him for guidance and rely on his strength to be able to navigate with it in times where you are weak. In the absence of deliverance, decide to practice discipline so that you won’t give in to your handicap.

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