Webster defines discipline as a training that corrects. It molds and perfects the mental faculties and moral character. A control gained by enforcing obedience or order. Orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior. To discipline means to train or develop by instruction and exercise; especially in the area of self control.The development of discipline is essential to our overall personal growth and spiritual maturity. One of the fruits of the spirit is self control.
Due to Adam’s sin mankind has inherited a sin-based nature. The appetite to fulfill the desires of the eyes and the lusts of the flesh is quite often first and foremost. The appetite of each individual varies. Your desire could be overeating or under-eating, alcohol, drugs, immoral sexual behavior, lying, envy, idolatry, covetousness, etc. In order to overcome this proclivity towards sin one must continually learn to surrender their yearnings toward self-gratification.
How can we accomplish this? To the believer deliverance from an undisciplined lifestyle is quite attainable. Paul tells us: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:19. The key factor in that verse is the strength has to come from the LORD.
God is quite aware of our shortcomings. Our shortcomings are what alerts us to the fact we need something other than ourselves to overcome our human frailties. God has created us for the purpose of fellowship. We must continuously develop a life in accordance with the instructions He has left in His WORD. The first step to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way the truth and the life: NO man cometh unto the FATHER but by me.” John 14:6. There is no other way to GOD.
Our perspective on life greatly affects how we deal with certain situations. Envision with me if you please a house. Everyday you would pass by this house. After a while you become very familiar with it’s exterior. You then begin to even make assumptions about the house. You eventually come to admire it for it’s surface beauty, but only from an exterior point of view. You’ve seen the front door day after day but you have never stopped and taken the time to knock at the door. You are aware of where the house is; you even think you have a general idea of what it’s like inside. But do you really?
Quite often we develop the same type of relationship with God. We know where His instructions for daily life are found. We have access to the Bible. But how often do we really devote time to actually seek His spiritual direction for our day to day living? We must go beyond the exterior and delve into the WORD and embrace His principles and apply them to our lives consistently. When we embrace His principles we embark upon a life of freedom. This freedom will free you from the appetites of the flesh and the clutches of the world. When you develop an intimate relationship with Him He begins to fill that deep endless void THAT ONLY HE CAN FILL.The Christian life is not an unattainable idealistic lifestyle. When we begin to walk in the Spirit we can overcome the weaknesses of the flesh.
Christians are to live lives that are dependent on God. It is through this spiritual dependency the strongholds that satan has on your life will begin to dissipate. This spiritual walk includes a life of discipline. Remember it is through discipline we are able to harness and control the lusts of the flesh I mentioned earlier. Christ lived, suffered, died and arose from the dead for a reason. He sacrificed His life to redeem us from the curse and endowment of Adam’s sin. It is by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives we can overcome and partake in the victorious life he has prepared for those that truly love Him. “Greater is He that is in you then he that is in the world.” The scripture is not just for memorization to impress others. It is an edible delicacy that will nourish your spirituality and quench your unquenchable thirst as you truly embrace and live out it’s intended principles.
We must seek and learn to discipline our life to His standards. We must begin to relinquish the desire for man’s approval and conditional acceptance. We can never please man. I must warn you! The closer you draw to GOD the less man will understand you. You will be persecuted and greatly misunderstood. Guess what ? So was Jesus! He was maligned and accused of many things by those who should have known better. It was those who were thought to be spiritual that treated Him exceedingly wrong.
Man looks from the outside in; this is the opposite of God’s perspective. He looks from the inside out. He knows all about you. Your innermost thoughts and desires are fully known by Him. The key to a peaceful and contented life filled with true JOY is available. “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness (appetites of the flesh) we lie, and do not tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is light, we have fellowship one with another, and the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN.” How important is discipline? It is very important!
WHAT’S EATING YOU?
Is there something that is bothering you? Something that you can’t talk about? Has someone hurt you that you can’t forgive? Have someone said something to you that you can’t shake loose? Has someone taken something away from you; or wronged you in some way? Do you crave acceptance? Do you feel rejected? Are you, impatient, frustrated, fed up, and just plain angry? Does the slightest little thing set you off? What’s eating you? Whatever the case don’t let it continue to hold you a prisoner. If you don’t do something about it, you will only allow the seed of bitterness to become rooted and develop deep within. Slowly but surely it will cultivate and grow! Think for a moment the chances are great that whoever has wronged you has probably moved on and not even given the matter a second thought. However you are stuck.
Each time you dwell on whatever it is without letting go, it grows. The longer you hold on to it, it will slowly but surely begin to eat you from the inside out. Unattended it will cause you to become depressed, physically ill , have much anxiety, panic attacks or migraine headaches! The end of possibilities goes on… When you allow whatever it is that is bothering you to grow, fester and internally aggravate you, it will eventually make you bitter. It will continue to impact you, your marriage, your friendships as well as your working relationships. What’s eating you? Although you have tucked it away for no one to see. Pushed it to the back of your mind only to silently gnaw away at your joy. As each year passes it is still there. The bitterness surfacing from time to time like a virus. The slightest little thing will trigger it. Someone will be able to push your button like pushing a remote control and set you off! You in turn loose control and react.
Did you know how the worm gets into the apple? Did you think it gets in from the outside in? Well it doesn’t! It has scientifically been proven. What happens is an insect actually lays an egg on the apple’s blossom. At some point the egg then hatches within the apple. As it grows, it eat eats away the apple and burrows its way to the outside! When you allow bitterness to nest, it like the worm begins to grow and erode the fiber of your being; it will eat away your happiness and inside it will grow and tunnel its way out and manifest itself as sin!
How do you stop what’s eating you from eating away at the core of your being? Periodically take a personal inventory. First keep in mind you cannot undo what has been done! Allow whatever has been sitting in the warehouse of your mind, to come to the forefront. As anything resurfaces hold it up to the Light of God’s Word! Meditate on the Word of God it is a Library of Wisdom! By the way you can read all day long but if you don’t implement it, then its just mere words. Ask the Lord to help you and open up your understanding! Begin to acknowledge any ill will or bad feelings you are having. Move towards letting go of the pain by; forgiving the offense, the offender, and forgiving the deed. By the way forgiving does not mean forgetting unless you have amnesia. It does mean that you give up the resentment. Resentment means to feel the pain of the action over and over again. When you hold on to the resentment it too turns to bitterness, that only continues to further hurt you! You must surrender your right to get even. Allowing any anger to slowly come to the surface helps you gain self control, you can then rise above it.
By letting go of what’s eating you, you begin to strengthen and discipline yourself from continuing to let it hurt you, now you are beginning to move towards healing. Confess and Admit it! Your feelings need to be validated! Accept responsibility for whatever it is by acknowledging it for whatever it is. Check yourself! Police yourself! When you find yourself going in the wrong direction or acting out in a way that is not right, don’t allow pride keep you in bondage. God does have a purpose and a path for your life! Now allow yourself to be put on the potter’s wheel to mold you and shape you into a usable “vessel of honor” for His Glory! God really does have a better way! The Word of God is so powerful! You can be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Once you admit that life is difficult it becomes easier! Sin is pervasive and has taken root in this world we live. So many things have become greatly impacted. This only further nurtures any bitterness you are harboring! Don’t be deceived! Yes! Anything goes! Acceptance often becoming an Enabler; Tolerance often has been labeled Unconditional Love. TRUTH more and more has been pushed to the background! The LOVE of GOD misconstrued! Lord Help Us! Sin is anything that separates you from God! Like the worm in the apple sin begins to grow and works its way out! Jesus said that this would happen. But don’t be alarmed. Praise God, this only further proves His Word is TRUE! You can not really transform your mind apart from the Lord! Remember if you give credit where it is due. Then you know He made the mind! “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” God’s Word can renew and wash your mind when you sincerely embrace His principles and hold them dear to your heart!
What’s eating You? Do you want to experience the transforming power of His Word? Believing, knowing and implementing His Word is key. Bitterness, will not be able to stay rooted or if it has it will have to go! Ask the Lord to “Create in you a clean heart and renew the right Spirit within you.” As the Holy Spirit within you is activated it will cleanse you from the inside out! Each day as you invite His infilling PRESENCE within you to fill you, you can become transformed from the inside out! The Fruit of His Spirit then begins to take root instead. “But the Fruit of HIS SPIRIT is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control!” Your actions, words, thoughts and emotions can be transformed! This transformation process is lifelong. But with Jesus Christ as your personal Savior & Lord you have all the time you need! God is everywhere that we are! You can call upon Him at any time in any and every situation!