Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Success Strategies (Part 19)
Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
Job 5:17 (NAS)
So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine. My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:10-12 (NAS)
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)
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 (NKJV)
The greatest transformation in my life was committing to Christ at 51. My second greatest transformation was losing 220 pounds (starting at age 37), but that's another story. Most people think I have a lot of discipline. I think I have a lot of God.
Because I lost weight without surgery, drugs, products, counseling or a commercial diet. I also exercised with a determination. Over the years, I've met many faithful followers of fitness at the gym. To larger or smaller degrees, they're pursuing health and beauty with gusto.
In the world of entertainment, staying in shape is standard operating procedure for stars--along with the discipline it takes to do so. I've found church stars less committed to fitness, but they need to renew their minds. Because an undisciplined body can be a roadblock to success.
That being said, having an undisciplined spirit is a bigger roadblock. 'For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come' (1 Timothy 4:8). Discipline is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
If you don't think you have enough discipline, go to the Word. Go to your prayer closet. Go to the Throne Room of God and ask Him. 'How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?' (Luke 11:13). Because that's where godly discipline is found. In Him.
Concerning fad diets and the next new exercise sensation: 'Have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness' (1 Timothy 4:7). Consider a few practical rules:
1) Learn from those you respect: 'Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days' (Proverbs 19:20).
2) Thank God for every correction you receive: He says, 'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent' (Revelation 3:19).
3) Remember that the power for godly discipline (a.k.a. self-control) of body, mind, word and deeds comes from His Holy Spirit. 'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control' (Galatians 5:22-23).
As I write this devotion, I confess that I am too far from perfect to be comfortable with myself. I have a long way to go. But knowing the Goal and the Power to get to the Goal is transforming.
Both God and man promote people of self-control. Therein, discipline is a success strategy.
To Be Continued...
Check out Scriptures containing the word, 'discipline': Keyword search of discipline in the NAS: http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=discipline&searchtype=all&version1=49&language1=en&spanbegin=1&spanend=73&resultspp=500
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Success Strategies (2013) series.