Updated: Sep 30, 2020
Christian discipline is the expression of the present of faith, but discipline is not necessarily faith, but if done right, it is the evidence of the existence of true faith. Secondly, Christian disciplines are tools that can only be sincerely developed through Sanctification, meaning when the Lord works in you His will, then these tools are brought forth. Case in point, your desire to read and study the Word, your love for a deeper prayer time.
With Sanctification from the Lord, these things and more becomes a reality in our lives, but without Sanctification they are virtually nonexistent. So then if these tools we called Christian disciplines, are only properly developed through Sanctification, of which we cannot sanctify ourselves, therefore, they cannot bring about the changes we need; only if we are sanctified and sanctification is from the Lord. Through this comes the progression of changes.
The misunderstanding for us all at a point in our lives is that the disciplines are used as a means for Sanctification. Or for those of whom are still in the struggle of the error of use of the disciplines; the perception remains the same.
Knowing it is the Lord who saved us when we couldn’t save ourselves, nevertheless, He is neglected when the believer tries to enact a certain work, or works in their life to bring about a change.
Variety of Christian disciplines.
These and more, are not to be forsaken, however the use of any of these and the likes to obtain anything from the Lord is borderline manipulation. A good parent is delighted when the child does the right thing, but the parent love toward the child is not predicated on the working of the child, but to love, provide and raise the child on the path of becoming a capable adult.
Understanding Faith before works
For an example, we look to the beginning of our faith. This we see in the account of Abraham, he believed God, then righteousness was imputed to him. Through this, Abraham the Patriarch went on to do those things that were right and pleasing in the sight of God. True faith will produce works, of which some are Christian disciplines, but the works and disciplines are the fruits of faith.
It will be unwise to eat a fruit from a tree once and then cut it down. Soon the fruit will be consumed without any replenishment thereof. Symbolically speaking, the tree represents our faith and the fruits represent the result of our faith. Should the focus be on the fruits and not the wellbeing of the tree, the representation of our faith in the Lord which bring forth the fruits?
So then, the reason for who we are in the Lord and the potential to grow and continue in the faith is not predicated on what we do, but what we believe. For if we believe right, then we will do that which is right.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. (That which we believe)
So let no one make rules about what you eat or drink or about holy days or the New Moon Festival or the Sabbath. All such things are only a shadow of things in the future; the reality is Christ. Do not allow yourselves to be condemned by anyone who claims to be superior because of special visions and who insists on false humility and the worship of angels. For no reason at all, such people are all puffed up by their human way of thinking