September always seems to catch me unawares. I watch it coming full tilt as I mourn the end of summer and then Boom! Here it is. Although the cooling of the temperature brings some sadness, the turning of the leaves and the structure of the return to school does bring excitement to my spirit. I love organizing things and having things in order which in my apparent lack of discipline seems like quite a conundrum. You may not be able to tell that the area of discipline is in need of an upgrade just by looking at me, unless of course you peeked at my bank book or looked at my scale or watched me manage my time. These areas have been specifically highlighted to me recently with much conviction by the Holy Spirit and even though I know changes in all areas at once would be difficult, it is all inter-connected and I believe this is a time of new beginnings.
As I prayed about this new season, I was humorously reminded about the conversation in the movie Shrek between Shrek (who is an ogre for those who don’t know) and Donkey ( who is a … donkey). Shrek was trying to explain to Donkey that there is a lot more to ogres than people think.
“Ogres are like onions.”
“They make you cry?”
“Oh, you leave them out in the sun and they get all brown and start sprouting little white hairs?”
“No! Layers! Onions have layers, ogres have layers.”
I am sure that we have all heard this analogy at one time or another. As God continues to heal and redeem things in my life, I am astonished by how some things seem to have endless layers. Sometimes God highlights an area and I think, really God, still? Now hear me too that the devil loves to tempt us to think that Jesus hasn’t finished with some areas and we need to go back there. This is when we need God’s discernment to know whether to dig deeper or remind that tempting voice, ‘It is finished.”
As Joyce Meyers quips, “I know I am not where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be!”
Do I have the answers to more self-discipline? No but God does. He is aware of my layers. He has seen how I have not utilized the self-control that He gave me. Does He love me any less? No? Does He love me so much that He won’t leave me here? Yes!
God is a God of transformation and He desires to do that in our hearts. At this time I am to cocoon in and gather his strength to be able to face these lifelong battles , in the process I will be changed, as will my writing and in effect everybody else that He allows my words to reach. Discipline in Greek means ‘to instruct’, so as God disciplines me, this instruction will echo into my behaviour.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained for it.” Hebrews 12:11
Is there an area in your life that you need to submit to God’s transformation? Onions have layers, ogres have layers and we humans have layers. It is what makes us unique, made in the image of Father, Son and Holy Spirit 🙂 Enjoy the process as we become more like Him.