ll Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity—of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear—but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm and well balanced mind and discipline and self control.” (Amplified)
So far we have looked at how power allows us to open God’s gift; how love is generated by that power; how being calm is one of the results of love; and how calm prepares us to have a well balanced mind. A well balanced mind set is paramount to allowing the capacity for discipline which is where we are going to concentrate our thoughts today.
Discipline is what I call the “to do” part of the gift. Having willpower—or I prefer in this context to say having “God” power—that motivates you to stay on track and do what is right; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. Discipline encompasses the determination to make yourself do things you should, even if you do not want to do them.
A great passage on this topic is from Proverbs 1. Solomon starts this book by describing the theme and the purpose for his writings. Verse 3 tells us part of the desired outcome is “…acquiring a disciplined and prudent life.” (NIV)
We all have experienced times when we had to push ourselves and employ discipline in our lives whether it be exercising, completing the day’s list of tasks, accomplishing goals we have set for ourselves, and so forth. All of these are certainly important but are not the top priority in the life of the believer.
Spiritual discipline is tantamount in the Christian walk. Paul speaks of this in I Corinthians 9:27 says, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” Again in Titus 1:8 he gives qualifications for an elder but these are behaviors all Christians should adhere to: “…hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.” (ESV) All these attributes require a fairly healthy dose of “to do”—discipline—but obviously do not cover all the requirements of discipline outlined throughout the New Testament. Jesus’ teachings are full of essentials as are the letters written by the Apostles. Since it is impossible to delve into all of these in one blog, I would encourage you to take some time for research. As we grow in knowledge of what is expected of us by God when it comes to discipline it could be rather daunting, intimidating, and discouraging. Ah dear friend read on.
Here is where our Heavenly Father comes to our aid. In Philippians 4:13 Paul tells us “I have strength for all things In Christ Who empowers me—I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me.” (Amplified) There it is—no excuse for lack of discipline. Christ stands ready and waiting to give us assistance in times of weakness. In addition remember the first item we have been given in the gift is power. Strive this week to tap into that amazing and accessible power and strength which enable you to have discipline.
(Lonetta is available to speak at any of your church or Christian gatherings. For further information please contact her through this site or on the “Contact” form at her website: livingbeforegodsface.com)
Categories: INSPIRATIONAL ARTICLES