Do you often tell yourself, “I have no self-discipline?” If so, then this message will give you a new way to think about discipline as a believer in Christ. You’ll also learn a key to help you manifest it in your life.
“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27 NKJV).”
Just as the Body of Christ is submitted to Jesus in all things, so should your natural body be submitted to the power within you (the Holy Spirit) in all things. One pastor defined submission as “under the mission.”
The Body of Christ has a mission – “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (see Mark 16:15).”
Your natural body has a mission too: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).”
You glorify God (bring honor and praise to Him) through the Spiritual fruit you bear. That Spiritual fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see John 15:8 and Galatians 5:22-23).
You already have self-control as a fruit of God’s Spirit. But exercising that control in your body requires discipline. Discipline is the practice of training a student.
So when you say that you have no discipline, what you are really saying is that have no training program for your body currently. Your body is your student. It is your responsibility to train it.
What are you training your body to do? Many people shake their heads in disapproval when they see an undisciplined child wrecking havoc in a store while the parent stands by doing nothing.
Back in the day, our parents used to say, “That child needs some home training.” And yet for many, their bodies are the equivalent of undisciplined children.
Because their bodies are left untrained and allowed to follow unrestrained whims and desires, they end up in hurt or danger through declining function or disease. They become hindered in their ability to fulfill their missions.
The Lord brought a graphic illustration to me about this situation that gave me chills. Would you allow a child predator to have unlimited access to your child? Not if you loved your child! You’d do everything in your power to protect them from anyone who means them harm.
And yet, many of us consent to behaviors that we know are harming our bodies through the enemy’s influence. The Bible tells us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).”
If you feel your body is undisciplined and you want to change that situation, then the key is to start a training program for it. You must do this if you want to safeguard your body against preventable harm.
Have you set standards as to what is proper behavior for your body, appropriate for your level?
A good teacher starts where the student is; if the student is a kindergartner, then the teacher doesn’t start by trying to teach the student calculus! Rather, teaching a kindergartner the alphabet would be a more appropriate place to begin.
A good teacher also doesn’t give up on her student even if she doesn’t see progress right away. She sees beyond the immediate circumstances all the way to whom the student can become with proper training.
The teacher invests herself in seeing that student succeed and loves that student enough to give her best. She does that everyday, having faith that her methods will bear fruit someday. She works as unto God, not as unto men.
Concerning our bodies, we discipline them, training them to bear fruit for God’s glory. The physical results, such as better health and increased energy, are wonderful fringe benefits of fulfilling that primary mission.
With this information, I hope you’ll now decide that a program of daily discipline is worth it and start working on your own!
Take Back Your Temple