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Consistency > Intensity

One of the greatest challenges we'll face in life is perseverance. In almost everything we do in life that we wish to do well and that we wish to do for any length of time takes a great measure of perseverance and consistency. This is true in our careers, relationships, hobbies, and our walk with God.

I have trained many people in the gym and I coach them that in the long run consistency is always greater than intensity. Many people get highly motivated for a short period of time and want to push themselves intensely in the gym (this typically happens when someone's health and fitness has gotten to an all time low and they are in the worse shape of their life - the wrong time to try to be intense) but I tell them that the key to success in achieving their fitness goals is to commit to being consistent. But of course going hard one time is a lot easier then going all the time. (This is also why "dieting" doesn't really work because it's not something that is sustained over the long haul). Start by implementing some small change in your life consistently for 3 weeks I tell them. Like limiting yourself to no more than one soda for 3 weeks for example.



God wants to be close to us at all times, not just during special occasions. Jesus said, "I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Mat 28:20) and Paul reminds us to "pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Don't just confine your relationship with God with some specific set time in the morning but rather learn how to walk with God throughout all of your day and in every circumstance (for a great resource on this concept see The Practice of the Prescence of God). Is having a specific set time to read and pray and try to connect with God a bad thing? Of course not, much of this practicing of the presence of God is built upon the foundation of time with him every day, so remain committed to the practice of "daily quiet times". But don't let it stop there, learn how to be in continual conscious fellowship with God, learn to pray in the moment as life happens as we see Nehemiah doing before the king (Neh 2:4-5), learn to meditate on and allow scripture to dwell in your heart throughout the day (Ps 119:10-11), and learn to recognize that God is with you, even when you might not be aware of Him (1 Ki 19:12).

Of course the key to consistency and perseverance (in any arena) really comes down to self-control and self discipline. The incredible news is that no matter how much self-discipline we have right now or whether or not we have cultivated self-discipline from our childhood, God has given us his own Spirit which is a Spirit of self-control (2 Tim 1:7)! So you CAN grow in your self-discipline because it is already there in you! This self-discipline does not come however from your own "white-knuckling" effort, your straining and striving, but more from humbly submitting to, and being in step with God's Spirit!


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