For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and
worldly passions, and to live self- controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” ~ Titus 2:11-12 ~
In the book of judges we read about the Judges that were raised and appointed by God specifically to deliver the children of Israel from bondage by their enemies on more than one occasion.
We also read that whenever they were in bondage it was because God gave (sold) them to the desires of their hearts. All because whenever they would have no leader, they would backslide to worshipping the gods of those around them.
There are two battles that we fight as humanity, it is spiritual battles and disciplinary battles. Spiritual battles are brought about by the evils of this world to keep us in bondage. However disciplinary battles are brought about by ourselves.
The children of Israel could not fight their own disciplinary battles and as a result would end up with physical battles. This is what happens to us as well sometimes.
God has set His law and it will not change. It is what He expects His children to abide by. It is what is suppose to govern our lives and our behaviours. However, when we fail to discipline ourselves according to the law of God, we open up ourselves to spiritual battles.
No matter how much Pastors can pray for our deliverance, Prophets prophesy our blessings, paths and destinies, if we fail to abide by Christ our law, we will constantly open ourselves up to Spiritual battles. This requires no fighting off Satan but ourselves to discipline ourselves. We have to subject our bodies and our minds to Christ our law constantly.
Sometimes Satan doesn’t even need to do anything spiritual into one’s life, he only just ensures weakness to temptation because he knows that they already posses weakness to self discipline.
Self discipline only means that you have to constantly subject your mind, body and soul to that which is good and right.
Jesus said we must pray ‘lead us not into temptation’ for it is His grace that keeps us standing. Temptation arise because the flesh knows not the things of the Spirit, but the things of the flesh and responds to the things of the flesh. But God’s grace through His word is what keeps us standing.
Let he who thinks he stands take heed lest he falls – 1 Cor 10:12
Therefore for a child of God, self discipline means putting God first. We put not our faith in our leaders but in God then ourselves, for you have no better leader than yourself. You will notice that nothing can stop you from doing what you have put your mind to, hence you are your own best leader.
Mat 23:2-3 says, The experts in the law and Pharisees sit on Moses’s seat. Therefore observe what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
In this world we live in, we have role models. Our picture frames of good or leadership are others and not Christ. Then we get disappointed when they fall. Christ says, do not look at what others do and imitate them, but observe that which is good and do it.
Lead yourself through Christ, our only strategy for self discipline. Christ is The Word of God which is unchanging. That word is our grace.
Challenge yourself to self discipline daily, as temptation comes to make you give in to the flesh. Apply the word of God and make it your response for every time that certain temptation arise.
Remember, just reciting the word without allowing it to change your mind about what causes you to be subjected to that certain temptation will not help. Know what you are weak to, challenge that first and let the word attack the root cause first, then the actual weakness.
When we cannot discipline ourselves we cannot be led. When we cannot be led we stand a good chance of never making it to Canaan. The time we are in now requires that each individual be connected to Christ for their own deliverance. That means every individual alone on the alter to seek their own direction. The Lord loves us enough to have given us the Holy Spirit so we never walk alone. We just need to bring ourselves to Him and subject ourselves to His guidance. Obedience is impossible without self-control.