Remember Daniel-san of the move “Karate Kid”? He wanted desperately to learn karate so he could defend himself. He was tired of being pushed around and bullied, so when Mr. Miyagi agreed to teach him, he was so excited; that is, until his first lesson. Mr. Miyagi handed the young boy a pail of soapy water and a wash rag, pointing him in the direction of a car. Daniel-san’s first lesson was how to wash a car! Imagine what he must have thought, or what he must have said under his breath on numerous occasions. It’s not like his instructor just said, “Wash the car!” He watched to see what the boy would do and then showed him how to do it. “Wax on, wax off! He even periodically checked the “car washing” method to make sure Daniel was doing it right. Little did the student know that the teacher was really teaching him how to be disciplined in the small things. “Wax on, Wax off” was one of the basic movements he would use as a building block to rest of his studies. Mr. Miyagi also had Daniel-san painting fences, teaching him the proper brushing technique. If the disciple was disciplined enough to maintain the proper form, it would become second nature to him, increasing his level of success.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has already completed his work in us regarding the sin issue. So why is “not sinning” or missing the mark, so important? Because it is his desire for us to have the best life on earth possible. The Bible says if we are willing and obedient, we will eat the good of the land. Obedience in the small things is God’s way of instilling discipline in us. We’ve got to be counted on to do whatever he says without hesitation. That’s why temptation shows up. The devil wants us to [dis-count] what God says as being the truth. But, it is obedience that leads to the good life.
That works in the spiritual as well as in the natural. A well disciplined child turns into a productive citizen and is likely to achieve success. The opposite is true of an ill mannered, non-disciplined child. If that behavior goes unchecked, it can only lead to destruction. That is evident with the overcrowded prison system and the often seen blatant disregard for any and all authority in society.
Living a disciplined life is an ongoing process. That’s why the Holy Spirit keeps prompting the believer when he or she is not “doing it right”. “No, No, No”, he gently says. “Wax on, wax off, brush up, then down.” Sometimes we don’t see the significance, but The Master Teacher, just like Mr. Miyagi, sees far ahead, and knows our obedience is for our good.