Why is it so hard to be disciplined, even when it’s something we have a desire to do?
Peter Haas says that disciplines are difficult in the beginning because we have to get over the force-feeding season, before it gets easier. He illustrates this point by using the example of eating after you’ve had the flu.
“You don’t want to eat when you’re sick and yet there’s that point where you’re so tired, you have to force yourself to eat. Eventually when you start forcing yourself to eat, your appetite slowly comes back.”
Peter says that the same is true for our hunger for spiritual things.
“I think the same thing is true with the spiritual disciplines. If we’re not acclimated to reading God’s Word, the desire is not natural, and I think at first with any spiritual discipline you have to kind of force yourself to do it, but then over time you start getting an appetite for it. Ultimately you start hungering for that which you feed on.”
Even as a Pastor, Peter admits that there are seasons of his life where he doesn’t pick up a Bible for months. He too had to go through a force-feeding season to get back on track.
“I know sounds really sad especially coming from a pastor, but once I started force feeding, all of a sudden it gets to this point where I don’t feel natural if I don’t read God’s word. It’s almost like the easiest thing in the world.”
For some of us, we can’t imagine a morning where we don’t get up and grab a steaming cup of coffee. Peter says, we can feel the same way about God’s Word.
“You have to force feed and then over time you hunger for that which you feed on. What if the lifestyle that you’re desperately wanting to live was merely just a few forced-feedings away? What if you just had to force yourself to get up and work out, force yourself to read your Bible, and in a matter of a couple weeks, all of a sudden you’re going to have an insatiable desire for the things of God. I believe God has a desire to birth new desires in us all the time, but all we have to do is willing be willing to go through that force feeding season.”
Peter Haas is Lead Pastor at Substance Church in Minnesota. Peter also speaks to church planters and pastors all over the globe as he serves on the lead team of the Association of Related Churches. With a unique blend of comedian, futurist, nerdy researcher & Bible teacher, Peter released his first national book in 2012 with Influence Resources called Pharisectomy: How to Joyfully Remove Your Inner Pharisee and other Religiously Transmitted Diseases.
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