Today’s Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:7
“Train yourself for godliness.”
Just as it’s impossible for an airplane to fly with only one wing, so is it impossible for us to successfully pursue holiness with only dependence on God or discipline. We absolutely must have both.
Discipline, as I am now using it, refers to activities designed to train a person in a particular skill. In urging Timothy to train or discipline himself to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7), Paul borrowed a term originally referring to the training of young athletes. It later came to include both mental and moral training. Paul used it to refer to spiritual training. And Paul told Timothy, “Train yourself.”
But we must not try to carry out our responsibilities in our own strength and willpower. We must depend on the Holy Spirit to enable us. At the same time we must not assume we have no responsibility simply because we’re dependent. God enables us to work, but he doesn’t do the work for us.
“Unless the Lord builds the house,” we read in Psalm 127:1, “those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” Here the psalmist recognizes God’s intimate involvement in the building and watching; he doesn’t say, “unless the Lord helps the builders and the watchman,” but, “unless the Lord builds . . . unless the Lord watchesU”
Yet it’s just as obvious that the psalmist envisions the builders laboring and the watchman standing guard. The builders cannot put away their tools and go fishing and expect God to build the house. Neither can the watchman retire to his bed and expect God to sound the alarm if an enemy approaches. The builders must work, the watchman must stand guard; but they all must carry out their responsibilities in total dependence on God. (Excerpt taken from The Discipline of Grace)
Source: Your Holiness Day by Day | A Devotional by Jerry Bridges