Open Heavens Devotional
Saturday, 13 August 2016
Topic: Self Discipline
Memorise: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. – 1 Corinthians 9:27
Read: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (KJV)
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Bible in One Year: Isaiah 14:28-19:15, Psalms 33:12-22
Self-discipline is a personal commitment and decision to voluntarily yield every aspect of one’s life to the Almighty God. This is ensuring nothing controls or influences your life outside the power of God. You must make no further provision for anything else to rule your life except the power of God. For this specific reason of desiring to be vessel unto honour, you deliberately narrow your choices to only what Jesus will have you do at any given time.
When a man is self-disciplined, he will no longer entangle himself with the affairs of this life or with those things that add no significant value to his life as a Christian. Presenting your body as a living sacrifice is one of the ways to impose discipline on yourself.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” – Romans 12:1
The fact that some people are not determined enough to pay the price of self-discipline is a major reason why things will not work for them the way they expect. In life, nothing goes for nothing. Until there is a departure from certain things, there can never be a discovery of great things. No one will amount to something great until they are ready to make certain sacrifices, which must come through self-imposed discipline.
Having been a boxer myself, I can tell you that you can never become a champion in the world of boxing if you are not programmed to be self-disciplined. When an individual is not disciplined, he or she will not be able to go far in life. A believer will have to be disciplined when it comes to certain issues like eating, sleeping, talking etc.
Some people cannot do without comfort for a while. There are some that are slowed down in life because there are numerous weights that they are entangled with. When you are not self-disciplined, it will lead to your being unfruitful and unproductive in the business of God. There are people who cannot pray as they should because they cannot allow anything to deny them of their sleep. Some people will always eat when they should be fasting just because they cannot deny themselves of food.
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain”. – 1 Corinthians 9:24
Here, Paul was portraying the struggles that one must contend with in the Christian walk if one will have to make full proof of his ministry. Apostle Paul was willing to make all sacrifices and commitments required in evangelising to the world. He was obedient to the demands of the gospel because of the assurance that He who called him was faithful to reward him in due time.
As believers, there is the need to show commitment in self- discipline to the task of our calling as ministers of the gospel. Those who prepare for competitions with the mind of receiving perishable rewards still give the competition all the sacrifice required, this is a big lesson for those of us preparing for eternal rewards. One must exercise no less commitment or sacrifice. As long as we faithfully run the Christian race, we can be assured of the gift of eternal glory in Christ Jesus. No matter the difficulties we encounter, we can be rest assured that the grace of God can be relied upon.
Prayer Point: Father, please remove anything that will hinder my greatness from my life in Jesus’ name.