Read: “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety- nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety- nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:12-14, NIV).
Think About it: One of the great tragedies in life is when you choose to settle for less than the best. It's so easy to rationalize medicority until average becomes the new definition for excellence. Jesus challenged this notion with the disciples. He charged them not be satisfied with 99 when the standard was 100. When the shepherd would leave the 99 to go after the 1, he wasn't disregarding the importance of the 99. He didn't see them as 99. He saw them all as a whole. With one part missing, it was unhealthy. It was incomplete. It was less than he was called to accomplish. He rejoiced more over the 1 than the 99, because without the 1, they were not ONE. The shepherd was not satisfied with a loss of one that could change the identity or description of what He had been called to be or to do.
Going Deeper: This applies to people, but it can be applied to so much more in your life. God has called you to wholeness and completeness. The challenge, however, is that you can lose ground at times, inch by inch, in the disciplines God has called you to live. Rather than pick up the slack, at times you might allow your lack to redefine that discpline, therefore settling for less. This redefining is often a coping mechanism so that you might be tempted to use to justify your actions, not as a loss, but as an adjustment. However, this is contrary to God's design and His destiny for Your life. He never authorized you to redefine HIS will for your life.Refuse to settle for less than He has called you to. If He has called you to 100, anything less is disobedience. Everyday is to be, not just a reevaluation of God's desire for your life, but a remembering. God's call never changes. Neither should your discipline to obedience change. You are called to obey. Rejoice over the WHOLE of God's plan for your life, not just over the part that comes easiest
Next Step: What disciplines or habits have you loosened up on in your life? Maybe it was something you had started doing with a passion, but as time wore on, the excitement wore down. Understand that the difference between an obligation and a discipline rests within the motivation and desire of your own heart. Obligation is that which you do because you have to. There's no joy in it. There's no desire. You do it out of pressure, guilt, or manipulation. THIS is not God's will for you. Disciplines are those things that you might not want to do, but they lead you to where you definitely want to be. They take you beyond your feelings and emotions and connect your heart's desire with the heart of the prize. Whether it's prayer, reading the Bible, journaling through Scripture, or meeting together with a few of those who can walk with you on the journey, allow your heart for the "prize," a deeper connection with Jesus, to be the motivation of your discipline. Choose to be whole and complete...no matter what it feels like in the moment.