By CHRIS FIELDS
Last year I set out to read the Bible all the way through for the first time. This was a practice I’d heard other Christians boast about, but I always felt it was unnecessary. I already felt like a super Christian!
I mean, I work out all the time, eat right, do my devotions every day. I even got up to more than 400 consecutive days on my Bible app before I forgot to open it one Friday (forgive me, Lord). I even get on my knees to pray! Every morning! I closed my eyes and raised my hands during the slow portion of worship. I even cried all the time during this portion of service, and I’m a 6’3” slab of muscle. I mean, I was on fire for the Lord, right?
Plus, I was a church leader, leading small groups and stuff. Talking about Jesus all the time at church. I was constantly listening to preachers and sermons. Reading the Bible all the way through couldn’t get me any closer to the Lord than I already was, so I thought.
Then I felt my Christian growth plateauing and I started running out of sermons to listen to and books to read. I ran out of groups to lead. I started searching for new ways to strive, to no avail. I didn’t have anything else to do but read the Bible all the way through, and oh, to my enlightenment! It was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Now this column isn’t about reading the Bible all the way through, so let me pivot. The lesson I learned through my journey in God’s Word was obedience, and not just obedience but having a will to obey. That’s the driving force behind developing discipline.
We all start journeys to better our health (physical, mental and spiritual), but we often don’t reach our destination because we don’t develop our will to obey. Whatever your journey is, be it living healthier, being more mentally astute and spiritually sound, or strengthening your walk with Christ, I urge you to develop your will to obey. Here are three tips on how.
• Grow your desire. The main way to grow your desires, in my experience, is to increase your knowledge base. Of course this should be knowledge that’s factual and in line with God’s truth, not just someone’s opinion.
• Grow your understanding. Here is where you act on your newly obtained knowledge. It does you no good to just have knowledge. We are called to act in accordance with what we know.
• Grow your humility. Maybe this one should be first. We never know as much as we think we know, and we’re never as close as we think we are. Just ask the Israelites Moses was leading to the promised land. We are called to follow. Christians = followers of Christ.
Chris Fields is the founder and executive director of H.E.A.L. Mississippi and a graduate in kinesiology with advance studies in nutrition. He serves as a clinical exercise physiologist/CPT and is credentialed in Exercise Is Medicine through American College of Sports Medicine.