The other day, I officially accepted my defeat. After months of good intentions, I finally placed yet another incomplete Bible study in the bookshelf of retirement. This incident bothered me a little more than all the other unused Bible studies that eventually fell to the same fate. This time was going to be different. This time, my intentions were pure and determined. This time I had a blog for crying out loud! Nevertheless, I purchased yet another Bible study and, after two weeks of completion, quit all together.
Sadly, this is the story of my life: Good Intentions. I always feel so empowered when I leave Lifeway bookstore firm in my decision to spend more time in the Word. I spend unusual amounts of time making sure that I choose the exact one to peak my interest and keep me, well…committed. I get it home and can’t wait to rip it open and begin my spiritual journey of the next twelve weeks.
Inevitably, and almost immediately, I lose interest. When this happened on my first few attempts, it was easy to blame the study. “It wasn’t very good.” “I wasn’t getting anything out of it.” However, when an entire bookshelf is dedicated to unfinished studies, I begin to worry. Am I that undisciplined?
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” – NIV
Isn’t this always the way? We strive for obedience before dependence. We rely on our own power and discipline much sooner than we rely on our King. We get something in our heads, mentally commit to it, and then find ourselves overwhelmed with inability.
It doesn’t matter if it is a Bible study, mentality or simply a way of life: If we are not relying on the strength of Christ, we are defeated before we begin.