Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 12 : Practice Secret Disciplines | Day 78

Be a Serious Disciple!

God is not impressed with lukewarm Christians. In fact, they are nauseating to Him! He would rather have us spiritually hot or cold, but not lukewarm. If we are lukewarm, He will vomit us out of His mouth. (See Revelation 3:15-16.)

On the other hand, if we decide to seek God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, He will make Himself known to us. This is His promise: “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). In the same way that God rewarded Uzziah, who at the age of 16 became the King of Judah, God rewards those who seriously seek Him.

“He sought God ... and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper” (II Chronicles 26:5).

However, Uzziah discovered the dangers that often come with prosperity and success. “... His name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up [proud] to his destruction” (II Chronicles 26:15-16).

God is very aware of the constant danger of our deceitful hearts becoming proud and the temptation to think that we have achieved that which, in reality, God has done for us and through us. Pride is the one sin that God hates the most and judges the quickest. Therefore, He gave three disciplines to keep us focused on Him and dependent upon His strength:

Command Twelve: Give secretly; pray secretly; fast secretly; "and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly" (Matthew 6:18).

If we are totally honest with ourselves, most of us would admit that giving can often be motivated by the anticipated gratitude of the recipient rather than by the purely unselfish motive of obedience to God's prompting to give.

When we pray in a group, it is easy to become more concerned about how we sound to people than how we sound to God. As we fast, it is possible for us to become more conscious of the admiration of people than the approval of God.

The command of Jesus to do these disciplines in secret helps us avoid the temptation to seek public approval and encourages us to focus on seeking only God's approval. Since my youth, Psalm 27:4 has been a powerful motivation and direction in this area: “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple." A confirming declaration is then given in verse 8: “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.”

Let's make this prayer our meditation today and in the years to come!

Give secretly; pray secretly; fast secretly; "... and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:1-18).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard