Pastor Austen Ukachi
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple…” (Acts 2:46).
“So he himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (Luke 5:16).
Personal disciplines are a necessity of life, especially when they are godly ones. Habits are formed through daily disciplines, and habits are the bedrock of our personal character. Personal disciplines could be those daily routines we observe which, at times, could be boring, but serve their useful purpose in life. The routines of life could be daily, weekly or monthly disciplines. These include daily exercises, waking up at specific times of the day, prayer, brushing our teeth, bible reading, newspaper reading, writing, singing, tweeting, planning and reviewing our appointments and tasks, listening to news, couching, etc. Someone said, the seed of our greatness lies in our daily routines. Conversely, the seed for our failure in life lies in the absence of daily disciplines.
Disciplines are necessary to achieve our goals in life. To the surprise of some who abhor routines, the Bible is full of routines (See some examples in Exodus.16:4; Nehemiah 8:18; Psalm.16:8; Luke.9:23; Hebrews 3:13). Our Lord Jesus, for example had certain disciplines in life that helped him achieve his purpose and goals in life (Luke 22:39). These included rising up early to pray, meditation, preaching the good news daily, touching lives through healing and miracles, and many more. In Luke 5:16, we read about one of his routines, “So he himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” (NKJV). Like Jesus our Master, every Christian must have the daily routine of scripture reading, prayer and worship.
Many of the saintly characters we read about in the Bible had daily disciplines that helped them in life. Daniel and David had daily disciplines when it came to prayer and worship (Daniel.6:10;Psalms 55:17). Paul had certain disciplines he observed. Daily, in Asia, for two years, he engaged the Jews in the school of Tyrannus in an intellectual discuss (Acts 19:8-10). For three years at Ephesus, he taught the disciples day and night and from house to house, “…Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears” ( Acts 20:17-31; 2 Timothy 4:17).
He even urged Timothy to observe some certain routines in life. He wrote to Timothy thus, “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:15,16)
The Jews broke the day into watches of three to four hours daily during which they observed certain routines, which included prayer. It was during one of such regular routines that Peter and John met and healed the man at the Beautiful gate. The disciples had a daily routine, of bible study, fellowship, praise singing and sharing of meals. Interestingly, as they observed these daily routines, the church grew in number. (Acts 2:46,47)
What constitutes your daily routines and how steadfast are you in observing them? Like Jesus, why not have a daily discipline of raising early to pray, study the word and worship God? Herein lies the secret of an effective Christian life. Bear in mind, the secret to your rise to greatness lies in your daily disciplines.
Credit for this article goes to Pastor Bunmi Bammodu, who gave a teaching in “Godly Habits” during a Tuesday, early morning prayer meeting in He’s Alive Chapel, Lagos in October, 2015