Have you ever come across a promise in God's Word and gotten excited about it? That surge of excitement is what I call "desire." You are delighted by the thought of realizing that promise. But the true delight comes in seeing that promise become a reality in your life.

Lots of believers get to the desire stage. They see a promise of healing or abundance in the Word and they want it. But sadly, that's where most people stop. They never move past desire. Why is that? Because the next stage calls for discipline. And as I stated previously, the attribute of discipline is very rare among Christians today.

You see, it takes discipline to exercise the kind of faith required to bring God's promises into manifestation. But if you have discipline, you'll ultimately see that promise become a reality. That's when you move into the stage called delight.

Desire. Discipline. Delight. That's the sequence you must follow if you want to experience God's highest and best for your life. And what is discipline's worst enemy? Slothfulness.

What does it mean to be disciplined? One dictionary defines it as "a state of order based upon submission to rules and authority."

I like that definition. We have a spiritual authority—God and His Word. And God has put certain rules or spiritual principles in place in the universe. To be spiritually disciplined is to put your life in submission to those spiritual principles of faith.

Another definition of discipline is "to train or drill by instruction." This also sheds some light on the subject. In the military, to drill means to repeatedly work on something until it becomes second nature.

Does that sound like hard work? It is. But it's absolutely necessary if you want to get to delight. The basic things of God such as prayer, Bible study, sharing your faith, thinking right and talking right must become second nature to you if you want to experience the delight of seeing God's wonderful promises bloom in your life.

And something becomes second nature only with consistent, methodical repetition.

Discipline is vital to getting to delight. And that's exactly why so few believers are living delightful lives.

Of course, discipline is rarely fun—a least in the beginning. If you've ever resolved to start getting up an hour early to spend time with God you know what I'm talking about.

If you did manage to drag yourself out of bed the first day, it probably took a lot of work and effort. The same was probably true for the second day and the third day. As a matter of fact, I once read a study that said it takes six weeks of consistent behavior to create a firm habit.

Most people quit long before they reach that point. In other words, slothfulness comes in and moves discipline out of the way. If you've ever decided to embark on a campaign of serious exercise after a long period of idleness, you can also relate to what I'm saying.

You see a picture of a firm, slim and trim individual in a magazine and say, "Hey, that could be me!" At that point you have desire, but next comes the discipline part. You go to the gym and hit the machines with great zeal. But the next day you're sore from head to toe. Even your hair hurts. Muscles you didn't even know you had are sore.

At that point, slothfulness is going to do its best to keep you from getting disciplined about your workouts. Either you're going to keep working out each day until it becomes as regular a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth, or you're going to quit because it's hard.

That is the point that determines whether you experience delight of defeat. And the same is true in spiritual things. Jesus said, "...If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).

According to Jesus, it is only as we continue in His Word that we come to know truth and freedom. He's talking about discipline, and the sworn enemy of discipline is slothfulness.

We've gone around casually quoting John 8:32 for years. "The truth will make you free," brother. But we've taken Jesus' words out of context. He said, "If you continue in my Word..." then are we truly His disciples, or His disciplined ones. Then and only then will we know the truth and be free.

Source: SOS: Help My Flesh Needs Discipline by Creflo A. Dollar Jr..
Excerpt permission granted by Creflo Dollar Ministries