Monday, June 15, 2009

Discipline

The word itself makes me want to hide in a corner. It's something I hate and yet I crave. I am reading a little pamphlet by Elisabeth Elliot called: "Discovering Joy THROUGH Discipline". It has given me a different perspective on discipline all together! I am going to do a little series on discipline this week sharing with you what I am learning.

There IS great joy in living a life of order and self control, isn't there? When my house is clean, my eating good, my exercise consistent, my time in the Word regular, I am just a happier person. God created us to be this way.

Why is it SO hard to remain consistent in our disciplines? I believe this section of scripture sums it up perfectly!

Romans 7: 8-25 (amplified version, my fave) Read this slowly. It is so meaty and good!

But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness). For without the Law sin is dead [the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing].

9Once I was alive, but quite apart from and unconscious of the Law. But when the commandment came, sin lived again and I died (was sentenced by the Law to death).

10And the very legal ordinance which was designed and intended to bring life actually proved [to mean to me] death.

11For sin, seizing the opportunity and getting a hold on me [by taking its incentive] from the commandment, beguiled and entrapped and cheated me, and using it [as a weapon], killed me.

12The Law therefore is holy, and [each] commandment is holy and just and good.

13Did that which is good then prove fatal [bringing death] to me? Certainly not! It was sin, working death in me by using this good thing [as a weapon], in order that through the commandment sin might be shown up clearly to be sin, that the extreme malignity and immeasurable sinfulness of sin might plainly appear.

14We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin.

15For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe which my moral instinct condemns].

16Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it.

17However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me.

18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.]

19For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing.

20Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it [it is not myself that acts], but the sin [principle] which dwells within me [fixed and operating in my soul].

21So I find it to be a law (rule of action of my being) that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands.

22For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self [with my new nature].

23But I discern in my bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh].

24O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death?

25O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

God's word always has a way of expressing everything we can't. I love the end, He alone is the One who will deliver us from this wretched body! Until then we must discipline our flesh and seek the Lord in prayer constantly. We are in a battle folks. It's as if there is two of us. Which ever we feed more becomes stronger. Feed on the Word and prayer. Feed on things of the Lord. Purge yourself of worldly, fleshly things and discipline will come more naturally! ( I preach to myself of course!)