We are living in some serious times. There is much spiritual warfare about us. The world is not going to get better. But there is a better way to live daily. Jesus lived an exemplary life. He was and is the epitome of what life is all about. It is because of Jesus we have a direct way back to the Father. When He died the veil of the temple was torn in two. The purpose of the veil was to separate the section of the Temple where only the priest were allowed. We can thank Jesus because; we now can go directly to God. His Word can cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Did you know that Jesus was God’s Word wrapped in flesh? Jesus came as a living testimonial to the world and the family of God; which is His Church.
Did you know that the Church is actually Christ’s Bride? Do you know how important faithfulness is to a bride? Think about that; that is really heavy! God not only wants us to be faithful to our spouses but to Him. Jesus came to let us know that the principles in God’s Word are true. Did you know that God wants what is best for us? Did you know that God even disciplines us because He loves us so much? He even allows persecution so we can move on to further allow His will to be done in our life. Did you grow up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you?
God does not have a list of rules and regulations. Yet, you are considered to be “in the know, if you acknowledge everyone in a hierarchal manner before you speak. You are even commended for knowing protocol. If you don’t walk while someone’s talking you are respectful. But these are not really rules are they? Think about it? If you are walking you really must need to go somewhere? Are not the doors of God’s Church always open? These are just a few things to think about. Oh! These again are not rules; it just shows you know how to do what? “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty”. But God tells us not to use that as a cloak for maliciousness.
Did you know that God intended for His Church to be a “Lighthouse.” A place where we can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. A place where darkness should not prevail. God is also a God of order. Yes, we should be respectful of our place of worship. But some things are just not necessary. If you were raised in Church, but the Church is not in you the truth really does not matter. It is easier to just do whatever is expected. This assures you that you can participate in any way. You can even opt to fill any position you desire. This is okay because your heart is considered okay, you have passed inspection. All you have to do is put in your request. After all you are related to or in the inner circle. You have a blanket excuse for any and every past or present behavior because you obey without question. You are unconditionally loved? Or are you really? You also give God honor, praise and thank him for giving you the opportunity to stand before all. Yet they can already see you are standing up.
If you really want to stand for something; stand up for what is right.” In actuality protocol to you really means you know who to call in order of importance? Now who is the respecter of persons? What’s really important is that we call on Jesus and create and environment where His presence is truly welcomed. Yes, I am being a little sarcastic. But not to be facetious. What is your point? I merely want all of us to think about why we do or do not do some of the things we do. No disrespect intended a lot of things just are not necessary. God has said that He would write His law in our hearts. As you diligently study God’s Word He will really deliver you! He will free you from a lot of stuff that just does not make sense. God has so many wonderful things in store for us. He also gives you the freedom to choose. Have you ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day?” It is a humorous little movie where this guy wakes up at the same time everyday and the same thing happens over and over. He knew how each person would respond. He knew each day exactly what to expect. After a while he realizes that some things really need to change. Did you know that God really can change you? Did you know He really does have a better way for you to live? Ask yourself honestly have you grown up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you? God really and truly can deliver you!
There really is a difference between being in the Church and the Church being in you? When the Church is in you the Holy Spirit becomes the governor of your soul. You live in the world, you are to be law abiding citizen but you realize it is in God you move and live and have your being. You are convicted when wrong. You do not desire to be right just for the sake of being right. This is not some unrealistic, legalistic, rigid, mythical, unattainable, cultist way of being. (You are often encouraged to go along when there is a cultist mentality for the sake of being accepted by the group or groups.) You realize how vitally important it is to live your life before the Lord. You know without a doubt that God is your Heavenly Father.
The devil his imps and no one or nobody can do anything to pluck you out God’s hands, once you truly believe that you truly belong to God and Jesus is your Lord and Savior! You have been adopted into His family and you know that you know that you know without doubting you are His child! You know what His Word says about being double minded? Wait I must caution you! You must be aware that you will be thought of as strange and or self righteous by those who really do not know or understand you. They will even put you through their heart test. But, those who really know you know that you have been raised in the Church and the Church is in you. Go pluck some spiritual fruit and “pig out”. Especially try some of His good ole patience. Don’t go there; this not some egotistical, arrogant or prideful statement.
Webster defines discipline as a training that corrects, molds or perfects the mental faculties or moral character. A control gained by enforcing obedience or order. Orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior. To discipline means to train or develop by instruction and exercise; especially in the area of self control.The development of discipline is essential to our overall personal growth and spiritual maturity.
One of the fruits of the spirit is self control. Due to Adam’s sin mankind has inherited a sin-based nature. The appetite to fulfill the desires of the eyes and the lusts of the flesh is quite often first and foremost. The appetite of each individual varies. Your desire could be overeating or under-eating, alcohol, drugs, immoral sexual behavior, lying, envy, idolatry, covetousness, etc. In order to overcome this proclivity towards sin one must continually learn to surrender their yearnings toward self-gratification. How can we accomplish this? To the believer deliverance from an undisciplined lifestyle is quite attainable. Paul tells us: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:19. The key factor in that verse is the strength has to come from the LORD.
God is quite aware of our shortcomings. Our shortcomings are what alerts us to the fact we need something other than ourselves to overcome our human frailties. God has created us for the purpose of fellowship. We must continuously develop a life in accordance with the instructions He has left in His WORD. The first step to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way the truth and the life: NO man cometh unto the FATHER but by me.” John 14:6. There is no other way to GOD.
Our perspective on life greatly affects how we deal with certain situations. Envision with me if you please a house. Everyday you would pass by this house. After a while you become very familiar with it’s exterior. You then begin to even make assumptions about the house. You eventually come to admire it for it’s surface beauty, but only from an exterior point of view. You’ve seen the front door day after day but you have never stopped and taken the time to knock at the door. You are aware of where the house is; you even think you have a general idea of what it’s like inside. But do you really?
Quite often we develop the same type of relationship with God. We know where His instructions for daily life are found. We have access to the Bible. But how often do we really devote time to actually seek His spiritual direction for our day to day living? We must go beyond the exterior and delve into the WORD and embrace His principles and apply them to our lives consistently. When we embrace His principles we embark upon a life of freedom. This freedom will free you from the appetites of the flesh and the clutches of the world.
When you develop an intimate relationship with Him He begins to fill that deep endless void THAT ONLY HE CAN FILL.The Christian life is not an unattainable idealistic lifestyle. When we begin to walk in the Spirit we can overcome the weaknesses of the flesh. Christians are to live lives that are dependent upon God. It is through this spiritual dependency the strongholds that satan has on your life will begin to dissipate. This spiritual walk includes a life of discipline. Remember it is through discipline we are able to harness and control the lusts of the flesh I mentioned earlier.
Christ lived, suffered, died and arose from the dead for a reason. He sacrificed His life to redeem us from the curse and endowment of Adam’s sin. It is by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives we can overcome and partake in the victorious life he has prepared for those that truly love Him. “Greater is He that is in you then he that is in the world.” The scripture is not just for memorization to impress others. It is an edible delicacy that will nourish your spirituality and quench your unquenchable thirst as you truly embrace and live out it’s intended principles.
We must seek and learn to discipline our life to His standards. We must begin to relinquish the desire for man’s approval and conditional acceptance. We can never please man. I must warn you! The closer you draw to GOD the less man will understand you. You will be persecuted and greatly misunderstood. Guess what? So was Jesus! He was maligned and accused of many things by those who should have known better. It was those who were thought to be spiritual that treated Him exceedingly wrong.
Man looks from the outside in; this is the opposite of God’s perspective. He looks from the inside out. He knows all about you and I. Our innermost thoughts and desires are fully known by Him. The key to a peaceful and contented life filled with true JOY is available. “GOD is LIGHT, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness (appetites of the flesh) we lie, and do not tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is Light, we have fellowship one with another, and the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN.” How important is discipline?
It is very important!