I believe most people are sincere in their commitment to follow Christ. We really do want to make Him the Lord of our lives and to put Him before everything else. Satan knows this as well which is why he is constantly looking for ways to discourage and distract us. It’s not the catastrophic failures that tend to doom us; it’s the small, incremental distractions that knock us off course to the point that we one day wonder how we got where we are. So often a bad day finds us looking to anything other than God to salve our frustrations. We seek comfort in mindless entertainment or destructive addictions in hopes of numbing a life that has gone off plan and seemingly has no solution in sight. We neglect our first love (1 John 4:19; Revelation 2:4), and Satan is delighted. No matter what’s going on in your life, you must never let your affliction cloud your affection.
It is virtually impossible to be a disciple of Jesus Christ without living a life of self-discipline. Following Jesus means our focus shifts from being self-focused to others-focused. While this sounds noble and good, it is ridiculously difficult to implement. Our culture has so indoctrinated us with the pursuit of things we “need” and “deserve” that it becomes extremely easy to rationalize spending our time and money on things of earth rather than Heaven. Even within the church there are those that preach that following Jesus leads to prosperity and good fortune. This is contrary to what the Bible teaches (2 Timothy 3:12; Luke 9:58); serving God is all about thinking less of ourselves and more of others.