For previous STRONGER messages, or to sign up a friend, click here.
1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.”
LeBron James has a disciplined daily ritual that has made him one of the greatest basketball players of all time. The world is full of talented athletes who have come and gone, but James has endured and thrived. What does he do?
LeBron works out 2 to 3 times per day, sleeps almost 12 hours in 2 – 3 shifts (8-9 hours at night) and has a coach for every part of his life. He’s focused, disciplined and committed. His strength coach whom he’s worked with for almost 20 years said, “Our workouts actually start the night before with the right preparation - proper nutrition, a calm spirit and deep sleep.”
Talking to professional basketball player CJ Watson last week for our BraveMen podcast, he echoed the same thing. CJ played 16 years of NBA and professional basketball. He said, “It all comes down to the willingness to discipline my life and body for the goals I’ve set.”
So, here’s the rugged and real truth of getting STRONGER: Unless you’re willing to do the work, you won’t achieve your goals.
BUILD A FOUNDATION
We’ll talk about goal-setting next week. But it starts with the proper foundation. We’re in a fight – and the enemy wants to take you out. You CAN stop him.
Revelation 12:11 says, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death."
The blood of the Lamb is the redemption of Christ in our hearts and lives. That comes by confession. It is imputed into our hearts by the daily practice of prayer - which means, communicating with God, confessing his life over us and sharing our concerns and needs. The word of our testimony is the Word of God – and being willing to die? That’s discipline.
I recall Coach McCartney, who won a national football championship and launched PromiseKeepers, saying to a group of men, “How many men would like an extra 160 hours in your year?” Everyone yelled, “Yes! I do!” Then he said, “Simple. Just get up 30 minutes earlier every day.” Perhaps a trick question – but a profound truth.
So, commit with me to form new habits – a daily discipline - to get STRONGER.
START NEW HABITS
Just get up a 15 minutes earlier, maybe 30. Build a morning ritual and stick to it. I know I have to do that. I get up, BAM! I get a cup of coffee, BAM! I may get on CMN's AchieveLab for a moment to stir up my spirit. Then I'm in Proverbs. The chapter of Proverbs that matches the day of the month. Today, It's Proverbs 11. And then I'm in my reading plan. And then I have a time of prayer.
Sometimes the ritual is truncated. Sometimes I can enlarge it to an hour. Just build a ritual that you do consistently. Then, do it consistently. Make the effort. If you mess up – start again.
God is a "renew and restart" God – that’s why he sent Jesus.
Discipline is an internal commitment with external results. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise. I fear after preaching to others, I might myself be disqualified.”
John Wooden said, “Success is the byproduct of preparation.” Everything we're talking about is to prepare ourselves for competition. To go up against the enemy, to get STRONGER, have the wisdom in our business and have wisdom with our families and have wisdom in our personal lives.
Paul said in Philippians, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Daily discipline. For a purpose. To be STRONGER.
So here we go. If you can do this early in the morning, that works best. But, whenever you do it – make it a habit, a daily ritual. Shut off your phone, computer, media. Get in a quiet space. Read today's Proverb. Then pray for five minutes, pray for six, seven minutes. Do that. Then decide to do it again tomorrow. Then decide to do it again the next day.
I know this sounds simple. Many people know the daily routine in LeBron’s life, but most of them don’t do it. They’re not willing to take the pain of discipline.
If you won’t take the effort to discipline your life today, you will never arrive at your goals. Let’s get STRONGER. One day at a time.
You can do this. You have the power and the Spirit of God in you.