Note: This series first appeared on my online write-ups between March and May 2008. I believe we need it again!
Its a great priviledge to be part of the people that are alive to celebrate… but much more is the priviledge to understand that If not because He died and rose, our existence would have been unpalatable. Thank God for His love for us.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging about warfare. This is not so much of the heavyweight battles, this is about everyday living. Conquering the enemy on a daily basis.
“The first and best victory is to conquer self” – Plato
Everyday we are at war. As Christians we are fighting a lot of battles. While non-Christians might not be concerned about the conflict between flesh and spirit, we are. The fact that you are a Christian also makes you a prime target for the devil.
His attacks might come in different forms and as the bible puts it the thief comes to “steal, kill and destroy”. We need to live ready.
“What we do on some great occasions will probably depend on what we already are and what we are will be the result of previous years of self discipline” (Henry Parry Liddon)
Being disciplined is a requirement for any soldier. In fact, the training that soldiers go through has a substantial amount of soul, mind and body discipline. As Christians, the addition to that is spiritual discipline.
Lack of concentration on a battle field can easily result in death, and lack of obedience likewise has grave consequences.
Some levels of victory are delivered into your hands by just being disciplined.
In Genesis 11 vs. 6, God said this about some people
“Indeed the people are one, and they all have one language and this is what they begin to do. Now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them”
Their intentions were not the cleanest, so God had to stop them by confusing their language. In essence, being disciplined enough to work in a team and press towards a common goal can be unstoppable.
Obedience to God is our navigation during warfare. The children of Israel did as they are told, and the walls of Jericho came down flat. (Joshua 6 )
Jehoshaphat in obedience secured victory by singing praises to God (1 chronicles 20)
God’s instructions for us are not the most physically and intellectually pleasing instructions we’ll ever receive, hence it take a lot of discipline to obey.
In Genesis 12 vs. 1-4, God told Abraham to leave where he was and everything he is familiar with, that He (God) is taking him to a place He’ll show him. Without complain in vs. 4 “Abraham departed as the Lord has spoken to him”….
Now, that is DISCIPLINE.
An excerpt from “word for today” reads:
The Bible says, ‘Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God…realise that…whatever you choose to obey…[becomes your master]’ (Romans 6:12-16 NLT). If you let it, your body will lead you off course. It isn’t that your body is evil; it’s just that it possesses a number of appetites that are always ready to respond to the surrounding stimuli, all of which are terribly appealing and temporarily satisfying.
Each day look for an opportunity to say ‘no’ to yourself in some small area. Try it; you’ll be surprised how hard it is. But the payoff will come when you need to say no to yourself in some big area of life.
NEXT WEEK: “PURPOSE”