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!
Your soul is the essence of who you really are.
True beauty comes from within. The WORD of GOD is so very precious! It is bursting with a wealth of wisdom! I understand more each day why the Lord tells us to “hide it in our hearts, so we might not sin against Him… Only God can see into our hearts! “Man looks on the outside. But God looks at the heart.” As believers His Holy Spirit resides within us. He knows us totally! God is LOVE! His Love is not in any way superficial it is imbedded deep into the fabric of who we are.
Life brings about a plethora of varied experiences, some bad, some good some just are simply incredible!
The Scriptures says:
“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep His statues and seek Him with ALL their heart.” Blessed means to be happy and consecrated by God. God did not intend for His Word to just become mere letters on a papyrus (paper). He meant for it to become ALIVE within our soul to feed us and nourish us spiritually and emotionally so we could walk in His precepts. To help us go through whatever life presents to us, Blessed! One can then say Hallelujah Anyhow! Therefore this is why we pray
“Our FATHER, Give us today our daily bread…”
It is often said “What comes from the heart goes to the heart.” This actually is a quote given to Samuel Taylor Coleridge. There is a heartfelt sincerity when one speaks from the wellspring of their heart.
It is through the many experiences we encounter in life we grow one way or the other. It is important that we are not embittered by those experiences. It is important to have the right perspective. We can emerge triumphantly and rise above whatever has happened, is happening or will happen.
Life itself takes on a form of beauty when you access your heart’s wellspring. You perceive things differently. As you grow spiritually your soul is revived as well. You embrace the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD! You do not just go along with the majority in order to accepted You realize the value in self discipline. Spiritual growth comes from spending time with God, knowing His Word and applying it to your life daily. Your soul is the essence of who you really are. It is the heart of you. It is were TRUE BEAUTY lies as you remain connected to the Lord!
God knows who we are and who belongs to HIM! When you are truly HIS you can expect much spiritual warfare on this side of heaven. But “our weapons are not carnal…” This is why it is so important to get to know Jesus as your personal SAVIOR! There is an inner peace that comes from knowing who you are in Christ. “He was born of the Virgin Mary He lived a sinless, life and was crucified, died and was buried, but he AROSE with ALL power.” Yes, He is ALIVE and so is HIS WORD! HIS WORD is our SWORD; it is sharper than any two edge sword. (Two edged swords are used by man.) Whenever a trial comes our way we must learn to STAND on the WORD of GOD.
When necessary GOD WILL FIGHT YOUR BATTLES. His weapons are not carnal. We on the other hand must KNOW HIM and the POWER of JESUS CHRIST through HIS WORD! We never become the power we just gain access. During a battle we want to make sure our inner beauty is not suppressed. It is still possible for it to shine through… This is why we meditate, pray and ask to be filled daily. He has given us the gift of HIS HOLY SPIRIT as our COMFORTER! This is also what helps us to discern. He has promised to “never leave nor forsake us!”
Whatever comes our way in life know that our true beauty comes from deep within. True beauty is not worn it cannot be put on or taken off. It is from this rich place deep inside a wellspring comes forth. Here one discovers and retrieves the veiled beauty that has been pre positioned in one’s soul. It is within the depths of our soul one can encounter this precious internal, eternal fountain! That brings forth and emits a deeper beauty that has been coded into our souls by our Creator. It was knitted into us before we were in our mother’s wound. God has made us tri dimensionally. We are body, mind and soul! We are created in His image!
“For you created my inner most being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. ALL the days for me were ordained…” Psalm 139
Yes, there is also a surface beauty that one can see but sometimes you will find that it does not always go deep. This is the case when it is not embedded into the essence of one’s soul. I Peter says, that in order for our beauty not to fade away it has to come from our “ inner self, the unfading beauty of a quiet gentle spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” This does not mean one has to become silent or passive, rather it is quite proactive! It comes from a deep place that yields discipline! It is when we put our Hope and Trust in the Lord we can discover the True beauty that is deep inside, that beauty that comes from within! Yet, it is reflected in our lives and also on the countenance of our faces! “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers…”
Whenever you are amidst spiritual warfare or when a crisis arises, it is important that you seek and learn to “BE STILL.” Being still does not mean that you are unconcerned or oblivious to what is happening. You are not simply just doing nothing. Nor is it a delusional state of unconsciousness rendering being in denial. You are not having erroneous illusions of grandeur. You are not being self-centered. Quite the contrary. You are God centered! Your spiritual awareness is actually heightened. It is a non combative state.
During spiritual warfare or a crisis, usually there is much stress. People often respond in ways that are counterproductive. One will tend to make hasty decisions and become easily angered. Over indulgence in drugs, alcohol, or some other substance or unfavorable activity is not advised. You may even become passive since there is a lack of coping skills. Instead it really is very important to be responsible. Instead strive to be more attentive. Be alert to your surroundings as well as those about you. Learn to become flexible and resilient, so you will not get towed along. Being still is a state of mind that helps you remain focused. Staying in a cognizant preferred chosen calm state of tranquility. Not walking in weakness, but making a sincere attempt to submit to a disciplined practice of walking in “meekness.” Here your faith and trust is rooted and grounded in the Lord.
You seek to be led by the Spirit!
It helps sometimes to also keep a sense of humor about it all. Just know, a bit of appropriate laughter is a good antidote for the soul. Laughter helps to keep things within a healthy responsive balance. Readily enlist earnestly the opportunity to “pray unceasingly.” To be aware that the often orchestrated situation at hand, really wants you to “act out” or respond in an unseemly, improper or inappropriate carnal manner. Which really only wants to cast you in an unfavorable light to simply mar your testimony.
Take a few moments of personal Worship and Praise!
Having the Lord within your life truly does make all the difference in the world! It is quite splendid! As we grow in His grace we learn to respond or not respond by embracing the Fruit of His Spirit! You care more, but react less impulsively. Your desire is to please Him as well as your commitment to Him increases as well. You learn to incorporate “Praying without ceasing” into all areas of your life. This conscious state of being keeps you connected to the Lord. You choose to focus on the Lord rather than get pulled away from your center.
Know that there is always spiritual warfare all about us even in the midst of corporate worship!
One must learn to depend and call upon the Lord wherever we may be. This is often in an inaudible way, momentarily and meekly inwardly bowing, knowing that your heart becomes an immediate altar. Since we cannot avoid crisis learn to invite God into the messiness about you. It is possible as the Word says; “to be angry and sin not.” Trusting and knowing that God knows your heart and always hears your cries. Remember Psalm 27; “The Lord is my Light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid…” In His time He can and will deliver you from any and all evil! Ephesians clearly tells us to “Finally be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on your spiritual armor of God so when the evil day comes, you may be able to stand your ground…….” Ephesians 6
The Greek word for crisis is krinein, which means “to decide.” Crisis and spiritual warfare can come at unexpected moments. Usually the decisions that you have to make are life changing. decide to take some time and “BE STILL.” Know that God is always near. See this as an opportunity to put in practice what it means to exercise “patience.” His Blessed Assurance can truly be experienced, once born of His Spirit! Always keeping in mind that God knows and has everything under His complete control really helps.
Once you become a child of God it is important to get to know Him. Draw close to Him. Your ongoing up close, personal and intimate relationship with the Lord is more important than anything or anyone! Absolutely nothing can take God’s place in your life He has embedded deep within each of us a place that only He can fill. One must avidly commence to daily seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Without Him we are merely walking breathing shaped dust.
God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives. We are to read, ponder, digest, and dwell upon His Word and implement the principles therein. Our desire should be to respond in a way that pleases Him. To know the difference between the “works of the flesh” and the “Fruit of His Spirit” that is discussed in Galatians 5. We need not make excuses for sin but readily repent. Sin separates us from the Lord. His Word truly is meant to be our Life Manual! It is essentially, imperative to keep in mind that the people, situations and scenarios presented really did happen. He has given us fabulous examples. There is a plethora of wisdom in the Scriptures. So much so to a degree, that it can boggle your mind. This is why it is important that we ask for His promised Comforter to fill us, to illuminate our understanding while journeying through its tasty, appetizing, palatable pages.