Self-Discipline and the Christian Walk

Discipline

Written by Kim Johnson, Author of immysister.org and I Am My Sister (Women helping Women)

I have always been able to control myself, even as a small child. Self-discipline was never really an issue for me, especially once I got it in my head that I had better do the right thing.  However…there have been times when my flesh hasn’t always fallen in line with my thinking.  I can remember a few times when the Holy Spirit told me to do one thing and I simply choose to do something else. I have to giggle when I think about it, because I rationalized my disobedience by telling myself that it was myself talking to me.   Sisters, I have loads of stories that I could share with you where I have listened to myself.  Some of my stories would make you laugh, and some, you would say, make me look pathetic. 

The thing is this, we cannot do everything we feel like doing as Christians.  We can’t tell people off because they hurt our feelings or offend us (even though we may want too).    And when people treat us bad or poorly we can’t treat them the same way. Instead, we have to let things go and pray for those that hurt us.  

I know you are probably saying it’s hard to do these things, but I’m telling you, you can do it;  I’m telling myself as well, because God knows, I am a work in progress.

Joel Osteen (2014), my favorite Pastor, tells us that “we cannot be loose in our morals.  We cannot let our flesh have its way.  We have to exercise self-control and discipline, we cannot say things, and then regret what we said later.  Had we been disciplined in what we said earlier, we wouldn’t feel bad later, and then wish we had never said it the first place.  Self-control and self-discipline go hand and hand, we must stay in control in all things and ways.”

The Apostle Paul also tells us about his own hard time when he was trying to do the right thing in his life and how it was a struggle.  He says, “What I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate (Romans 7:15-20).

“All of us can relate to the fierce internal struggle that Paul describes.  We find ourselves succumbing to sin, even though we want to honor God. The thing is this, until we stand in Jesus’ presence, we will all experience this battle.  The only way to win is by dying to ourselves so that Christ can live through us and by submitting to the Spirit’s overcoming wisdom and power”  (Stanley).

So what does dying to the flesh mean? According to the bible, the spirit is ready but the flesh is weak. The flesh is a source of temptation. The desires of the flesh can be sinful only if we give into them…we must die to the flesh by listening to the voice of God, and not ourselves! Dying in the Flesh is to trade your will, for God’s will, for your life.

Brothers and Sisters, do you hear me? Are you exercising self-control and self-discipline over your life?

References

Osteen, J. (2014, May 24). Being Disciplined and Rule Over Your Feelings. Retrieved from https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=being+disciplined+and+rule+over+your+feelings+sermon&view=detail&mid=7E2EEA1ED9D8F15A855B7E2EEA1ED9D8F15A855B&FORM=VIRE

Stanley, C. (n.d.). Romans 7:15-20. In Life Principles Bible. Thomas Nelson. rio

Doing What God Called Me to Do

Written by Kim Johnson, Author of immysister.org

Sometimes God calls us to do things that we really don’t want to do. Some of the reasons we may not want to do them are, we lack self-confidence, we may doubt our ability to succeed, we don’t feel qualified, or, as simple as, we just plain ole are too tired and afraid. But! On the other hand, when God gives us a vision and we follow through with it, in spite of what we might be feeling, we are walking in obedience and demonstrating faith/trust in God.

As for me, I want to be obedient and I want to do what God calls me to do. However, I am no different than anyone else, walking in obedience is hard for me too.  Especially, if it involves a lack of sleep, stress, driving some place I don’t want to go and dealing with difficult people.

Nevertheless, I have learned to push past my feelings and trust God no matter what I see, because I don’t like consequences and I don’t want God to give my assignment to someone to else.

In any event, the bible tells us that blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it (Luke 11:28, NIV).  Charles Stanley explains that God always promises to bless joyful obedience.  And that we delight God’s heart when we choose to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to do what He commands us to do.  Often, God’s greatest blessings come as a result of our willingness to do something that appears very insignificant.

So ask yourself, has God been challenging you to do something seemingly unimportant that you have rationalized by saying, it’s too difficult, I don’t want to, or I have to pray about it first?

The thing is this, our obedience always benefits others. God often rewards others in particular, those closest to us as a result of our obedience. For example, when a father obeys the Lord, his entire family reaps the reward of God’s blessings.  Likewise, a child’s obedience will bless his or her parents.  This does not mean that those who choose to disobey the Lord will escape His discipline because of someone else’s godly walk. His call to obedience always demands our response.  However, when we live obedient lives, those who know and love us will sense the peace and joy he has given us.  And, instead of conflict, there will be contentment and that is just one part of experiencing God’s goodness (pg. 1198).

Sister to Sister do you hear me, are you walking in Godly obedience?

Reference

Stanley, C. F. (2009). Life Principles Bible. In C. Stanley (Ed.). Thomas Nelson.

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