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A Life Of Self-Discipline
Why is a life of self-discipline so hard to master? We want to do what we want to do. “… train yourself to be godly” Timothy 4:7. Work on our spiritually. We need to talk back to our body. Self-discipline is a life-long learning experience.
Live a God inspired life. Our God given gifts have to be unwrapped and cultivated. The Holy Spirit will make me holy but efforts are required. “Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13. We are encouraged to pursue love, develop it and allow His power to help us express love to others.
When we become a Christian, God fills us with the Holy Spirit. He becomes the resident of our heart and we have everything we need to overcome the difficulties in our life. We can be as holy as we want. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6.
There is no such thing as time management. We need self management. In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell examined successful people and claimed that the “10,000-Hour Rule” is the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill. To achieve success, one has to be practicing the correct way a total of around 10,000 hours. Success is deciding what you need to do, have the self discipline to maintain progress even when you do not want to do it, governing yourself and regulating your thoughts and emotion when they want you to postpone doing it.
“A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.” Proverbs 25:28 (NLT). We are to master our moods, guard our tongue and be slow to anger. “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.” Ephesians 5:15 (NLT)
“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” Ephesians 5:16 (NLT). Value our time.
“Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor” 1 Thessalonians 4:4. Line up with what we want with what we should do.
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Galatians 5:17. We have conflicting desires and we have to watch the one that we are going to feed. “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” Romans 7:15 (NLT).
Blessings Of Self-disciplined Life
Cultivating self-discipline is the doorway to joy. We are fit for God and for others.
Building Blocks Of A Self-disciplined Life
1. Embrace your dissatisfaction
Paul has hunger for God and it is the hunger and dissatisfaction that drove him forward. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6.
2. Beware of good intentions
Don’t fool yourself.
3. Begin working out
“Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly.” Timothy 4:7. Train with a plan and work to completion. When I don’t feel good physically, it affects my spiritual life. If we want to serve the Lord for a long time we have to take care of our body.
4. Create new good habit
Talk back to your body. “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NLT). Keep my body under control. Our body and soul catch each other diseases. When you wear out this body where are you going to live?
5. Fast forward your life
“ And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT). We are the joy that Jesus went to the cross for.
In 2013 during his Academy Award acceptance speech, Matthew McConaughey inspired us with his Academy Award acceptance speech: “There are three things that I need each day – one of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to and another is someone to chase. I want to thank God as that is what I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunity. He has shown me that gratitude reciprocates. When you have God you have a Friend and that friend is you. To my family what I look forward to and to my father. To my hero, that is who I chase. When I was 15 years old, someone very important in my life as me who is my hero. I told him to give me a couple of weeks to think about it. This guy came back a couple of weeks and ask who is my hero. It is me in 10 years. I turned 25 ten years later and the same person asked me “Are you a hero?” Not even close. My hero is me at 35. Every day, every week, every month and every year of my life my hero is always 10 years away. I am not going to be my hero. I’m not going to attain that. It keeps me with somebody to chase and to keep on chasing.”
6. Discover the freedom of self-discipline
Don’t minimize importance of one decision. Dr. David Jeremiah shared his story: “One decision I made 12 years ago to write out word for word when I prepare my messages has resulted in 2500 messages. Books have been written based on those messages. First it was hard but today I can’t imagine not doing it this way.”
The decisions that you make affect your life. You may not think that the decision relating to self control will affect our life.
Naval Admiral William H. McRaven in his commencement speech at the University of Texas, Austin, on May, 2014 urges us to have the self-discipline and not to quit.
“Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see. All you have to do to quit is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT — and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training. Just ring the bell.” Out of the 150 enrolled in SEAL training, 33 graduated.
If you quit you will regret it for the rest of your life. Quitting does not make it easier. You will never recover from quitting. Keep going with endurance. We need self-discipline to stand firm, commit into heart and action. Self discipline is like a wall that protects a city. Self-discipline is not easy and it requires strength and supernatural power.
There are moments that we are discouraged and we think about quitting. God please get me out of this place. Don’t ring the bell. Ask God to give you grace. Keep going and keep running the race. Don’t ring the bell.
Self-discipline is like a fortress for our lives. Self-control is evidence that we are in super power.
Listen to Dr. David Jeremiah, Pastor of Shadow Mountain Church, San Diego and New York Times Best-Selling Author full message on A Life Of Self-Discipline here.