How Important Is Discipline In Your Daily Life ?

December 13, 2011 by  
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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!

PAINT ON THE CANVAS

Beach Scene

PAINT ON THE CANVAS 

God not only knows the very hairs that are on our heads. He determines how long we inhabit the earth. He is the ultimate Master Creator and Designer who weaves everything together in His magnificent canvas of life. When we grow in His grace, truth and knowledge He gives us the ability to spiritually discern. Spiritual discernment lights the foreground of our canvas as we venture out in life.

Quite often many adapt to the world and employ its principles for traveling   through this valley of the shadow of death. However, it is GOD’S wisdom that ultimately grooms our being. As children of Light our life’s canvas commences to reflect the light of His presence whenever we embrace HIS principles within our daily lives. Personality traits that are in general socially acceptable tend to make us conform in order to be accepted. God has created each of us as individuals with varying temperaments & personality traits. Personality is used in typical dictionary definition to distinguish behavioral, emotional and attitudinal tendencies, character traits and habits. It is by these traits that one is uniquely recognized. We as people are fundamentally a complex integration of physical and non-physical dimensions and attributes.

The spiritual facet of us should reflect the God like qualities within our nature. Interpersonal dynamics and environmental influences are primary, but not exclusive to developmental determinants of our personalities. As human beings we are living, learning and growing organisms. When parents have properly nourished us by providing sufficient freedom and are generous in positive reinforcement, children will achieve a sense of personal autonomy. On the other hand if parents have modeled much faulty behavior themselves, were too overprotective, demanding, too permissive or critical, children will learn to have doubts about themselves. They will become harnessed with feelings of shame. In God’s eyes we are all ageless children. His Holy Spirit’s presence in one’s life is able to override any inappropriate learning experiences which we all have to a certain degree. God who is the ultimate Sovereign Creator can paint new life onto our life’s canvas. There is miraculous cleansing & healing POWER in the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST! HIS Holy Spirit HIS Comforter works within believers to give us a new nature.

When I studied “Art Appreciation” in school I acquired a respect for the various art forms. When I saw an original Picasso Abstract, my first reaction was “I don’t like it. After studying Picasso’s work I learned he was able to paint with a childlike simplicity. He was able to go inside, vicariously share and interpret on canvas the depth of his feelings. From an exterior posture for one to understand his work, a surface summation would not properly render what he was trying to relay. Despite the possibility of no one understanding he did not allow that to hinder His work. Whether he was aware of it or not He was given a God-given talent. It was largely after his death that the world really began to appreciate and understand his unique gift.

Our life can be quite like an abstract painting. Especially by those who really don’t know us. People usually fear what they don’t understand, or tend to label it negatively. Webster defines Abstract as; difficult to understand. Insufficiently factual. Expressing a quality considered apart from an object. Impersonal having only a generalized form with little or no attempt at precise representation. Quite often as Christians we too must risk being misunderstood. We must learn to tenaciously pursue our God given talent(s) with a steadfast devotion.

Each day that passes what we say and do and how we respond paints an array of events on our personal canvas of life. Much of our life’s paint is applied erroneously when we wander aimlessly about. When we stray from the narrow path that God has designed. God’s world is awesomely vast. A marvelous abstract spiritual venture awaits those who are obedient. Faith and Trust in Him are required companions that confidently paint the unseen path before us! It is easy to deter from our course because God allows us so much freedom. He has given us the power to choose. Other wise each individual canvas would yield a duplicate reproduction!

But once we really discover that life has purpose the strokes on our life’s canvas should be guided by our Creator. There is nothing in our life that has transpired that we can unpaint. When we find ourselves somewhere we don’t want to be or saying or doing something we don’t want to do what do we do? Do we continue to allow pride to lead us anyway? No, it will only lead us somewhere we don’t really want to go.

The hues of pride darken the spiritual path. It keeps the light of our direction deep in the background. So do we just waste precious time and continue to stumble around? Do we employ passages of scriptures to justify our sometimes wrong position? Do we erroneously mislead and gather others to support us in our wrong position? Ask yourself, do you hear a faint unspoken voice beckoning you to change your direction? Although painful, it is far better to move towards the Light. God knows your true motives. Do you know it is more important what God knows rather than what people think!

God our Creator knows all of our faults, shortcomings, misunderstandings and insecurities. His arms are wide open. But too often, pride, guilt and shame keeps us at His arm distance. It keeps us in the dark away from His marvelous Light! Too often we just don’t want to admit that we are possibly wrong or were wrong to ourselves especially not someone else! We are so reluctant to tint our canvas with the magnificent brilliance of humility! We would rather allow pride to paint our canvas and take us to a place that we will eventually dread!

If you are at a point in your life you don’t want to be, or if your life seems to be headed in a direction of uncertainty; If you have done something or said something you should not have (and we do from time to time) seek God’s direction. Really dedicate some time to being still and sincerely do some deep soul searching. Have your self a Gethsemane experience. Get quiet enough so you can actually hear what God is saying. Now that you have gotten His attention. Sincerely render to Him what is on your mind and in your heart. Remember He knows anyway. Once you have lightened your load. Ask Him for direction. Admit and repent (not repeat) of anything that is hindering your spiritual path.

Allow God’s yoke to be spiritually connected to lighten your burdens. I assure you He will direct you! Just know it may not be in a direction you want to go. You may just have to apply some humility to your life’s canvas. Humility can harness anger and impulsive rage will have to flee! Instead each painful step in His direction will be accompanied by His unexplainable peace! Did you know that when we are at our weakest point it gives God the opportunity to create a great work in us? Proceed cautiously knowing that anger and pride wants to darken disobedience. They only want to suppress and cover up the Light that wants to shine on your life’s canvas!

Once we humbly admit to God we are wrong, a flood of Light appears. It opens the door for the cleansing power of His Word to wash us thoroughly. God in His infinite wisdom is totally aware of the minutest speck of sin on each of our individual canvases. “All of us have sinned and fallen short of His glory”. But this does not give us the right to continue in sin. Christ did not die for us to be slaves to any sin in our lives. He even told us except we become as children we will not enter into His kingdom! He is the only Sovereign Master Designer! He can make each stroke of circumstances whatever they may be; mold and shape us into a vessel of beauty and honor in His sight. Commence to allow His Holy Spirit to guide you as you paint your personal canvas. Our life truly is “A work of art in progress.”

Learning The Art Of “Being Still” Part 1

dreamstimefree_1144122[1]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.

 

See Part 2

 

 

 

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