One of the things we do not like to speak about in the church, is discipline. (And it seems like when we have, it is steeped with condemnation.)We don’t like it because it places a requirement on us. But self discipline falls under the same heading or meaning as self control. And God likes it!
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
There it is. Allow the spirit of God to move in your life and self control begins to manifest. It is what keeps people from doing bad things, sinful things. It is easy to talk about love or goodness, but some of these fruits, including self control seem to be on someone else’s tree! When Paul says “I beat my body and make it my slave,” he is describing discipline.
Self control can be the answer to addictions or habits. We struggle with the idea of discipline because it puts a lock on the “fun cabinets” we think. Really? Walk through a ward where people are battling drugs or alcohol, fighting self imposed sickness or disease and think. Is it really all that fun? Hebrews 11:24-26 “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”
Why think about discipline? Because it is what keeps you on the pathway. Many eschew self discipline or self control. Years later their path lead to divorce, jail or death.
It is not a have to thing but a want to thing. We weigh out the big picture and make choices. It is out of love discipline begins. Paul said, “God did not give us a Spirit of timidity, but a Spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline”. (2 Timothy 1:7) It is an internal working of the Spirit of God through us. Not a fruit of us, but of the Spirit.
People often ask of me “how do you hear God”. My answer is it is part of the discipline I have embraced or self control, by allowing God to manifest through me. Just as 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 describe manifestations of the Spirit, so is the fruit of the Spirit produced. By God through yielded men and women.
Allowing God to move through you changes the world more than your choice to have you “move through you”. By yielding you are not a puppet, for yieldedness still allows for choice and decision. An right choices produce right living and the manifestation of righteousness. If the scriptures tell us to esteem others higher than ourselves, how much more valuable is esteeming God higher?