Each morning, particularly those that I have to head off to work, I get up and write. It is my quiet time if you will. God is faithful to wake me up at 5:55 these days. No alarm clock is better than the presence of the Lord. (Non-work days I often find myself up even earlier knowing there is a day of unknown goodness and everything is ahead!) But my getting up and such, is a discipline. I know people do not “like” that word discipline, as they consider it a religious word. A word that “robs” the of them of the freedom they believe they were so much intended for.
It would be a thief if it removed my peace or caused me to feel trapped. But it doesn’t. It is the prelude to my day. Often I have the opportunity during the night to awake and meditate upon things of His goodness and His greatness. I count it joy to be able to think like that. To know that I have time with Him and things to do with Him.
Discipline causes one to be stable. Certainly it may create a habit! A habit of enjoying Him. Each morning I can open my eyes and know it is 5:55 and know He is good. Each morning I will grab my glasses and phone and head down the stairs. I will press the button on the coffee and go sit (Okay, slouch!) on the couch. (Yes, slouch on the couch sounds better…) Shortly after the coffee will call me and I will prepare that cup of coffee and return.
What is God saying?
Proverbs 25:8 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. (That is an ironic description of what is being unraveled in our country. It is the result of the loss of self control.) Self control is discipline. Paul talks about it that he “might not be disqualified”.
Too much of what we hear called “religious” is a fruit of the Spirit or self control. Self control. The ability to keep one’s life under rein. Does self control limit? Yes! It keeps you from the “dumb stuff” that can undermine your marriage, your family, your job or your ministry. “But, I just want to free!” When people say that to me or I hear of it, I realize that in most cases they are immature and in others choosing dumb over wise. Maturity recognizes that self control is a protection that extends life and gives greater freedom and enjoyment. “I just want to be me!” Does your “me” reflect the Creator who has taken center stage in your life?
I was asked last night what I thought the “to come” changes would be in the church. I said the changes that come would be the result of the maturation of the saints. Putting aside childish things and picking up the adult tools of the “trade”. That maturity would play an important part in the coming days. And that it need to begin now rather than later. (This alone requires self discipline.) The second part was the place of discipleship in the Kingdom. Strengthening the body while doing life together.
Self discipline will cause your life to increasingly get better. It will add value and strength to your walk. It will increase your influence and better your walk with others.
Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
“Self-discipline is often disguised as short-term pain, which often leads to long-term gains. The mistake many of us make is the need and want for short-term gains (immediate gratification), which often leads to long-term pain.”― Charles F. Glassman, Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life