A Disciplined Life

Who loves discipline?  I don’t think there is anyone on planet earth that loves discipline.  No one truly loves being disciplined or having discipline.

Being disciplined and having discipline are really the same thing.

The definition of “discipline”: training to ensure proper behavior.

I can remember when I was a kid and I would get in trouble.  I know it’s hard believe that “I” got in trouble…but it happened sometimes. When I was a kid and I got in trouble my dad would discipline me.  He would do this to…train me to ensure proper behavior.

I can tell you that that was not what I was thinking about when he would discipline me.  I used to hate getting grounded.  Grounding would last so long.  I just wanted to get spanked and get it over with…and believe me, my dad believed in the “laying on of hands.”  But my dad would discipline me to ensure proper behavior.

The definition of “being disciplined”: having a conscious control over your lifestyle.

See my dad would discipline me so that I would have proper behavior and learn how to have control over my lifestyle.  My dad was teaching me how to properly live.

We hate being disciplined.  But discipline is a really good thing.  Discipline is not to push you farther away…but to pull you closer to.

My dad wasn’t disciplining me to push me away.  My dad was disciplining me so that I would learn to have discipline in my own life so that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes again.

Discipline is what Christ Followers need most and want least.

Having discipline in your life isn’t having an alarm clock.

Discipline is:

  • Self-restraint
  • Courage
  • Perseverance

Believe it or not, LACK OF DISCIPLINE IS A LID TO YOUR LIFE

I truly believe that lack of discipline comes from a lack of God.  God didn’t create us to lazy.  God didn’t create us to lack obedience and commitment.  Our free choice pushes us to that.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has given us a spirit of discipline.”

Galatians 5:22-23 says, “The fruit of the Spirit is self-control.”

If you can’t control self…self will control you.

Think about all the New Year’s resolutions that people make very year. People say they are going to eat right.  They are going to work out.  They are going to try something new.  They are going to spend more time with God.  They say I’m going to tithe.

Gym: packed for two weeks then everyone’s gone.  Because it’s much easier to sleep in then work out.

Eat right: much easier to run through Mcdonalds then eat healthy.

Spend time with God: easier to sleep in then jump up and read the Bible.

Tithe: it’s much easier to justify that fact that we worked for, and earned our money, then set aside the first 10% for God.  Even though we know that first 10% is holy…it’s set apart for Him.

I think we do this all the time in our spiritual lives.  We don’t think about what kind of repercussions this could have on our life.  Our goal is to be like Jesus.  Discipline is helping us achieve our Christ like spirit, mind, heart, character…everything.

Here are a few truths about discipline I thought about:

  1. Discipline is the key to power.

A person with a disciplined life has values that are seen not only in their spiritual life, but also in greater efficiency and effectiveness in everything the they do for the Lord.

Have you ever seen a true champion of the faith?  You look at them and think, “I want to be just like them.”  You know they weren’t born that way.  They were disciplined every day, in every situation, to follow Jesus…to do the right thing.

The power that a disciplined person has over the undisciplined person shows up in everyday life.

Disciplined person: picks up their clothes and dishes

Undisciplined person: let them lie around and stay in the sink

Disciplined person: wipes down the bathroom sink

Undisciplined person: leaves it dirty for someone else to clean

Disciplined person: plans his work and works his plan

Undisciplined person: works in a frenzy everyday

Disciplined person: Always punctual in keeping appointments

Undisciplined person: Notoriously late

The difference in all of these is not character…but habit.  But I totally believe that habit can eventually affect your character.  It will affect what others think of you and what you will think about yourself.

  1. Discipline is the mark of maturity

No one can reach full maturity unless he/she is disciplined in daily life.

1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul says, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”

This includes discipline in:

  • Eating habits. Being able to say, “No thank you.  I won’t have anymore.”
  • Discipline in sexual areas.
  • Discipline in our emotions. You can become so attached to someone that you become possessive and exclusive.  You become jealous.  This is really unhealthy.
  • You know people that are so moody that when you see them you don’t know what you’re going to get?  This happens because we are functioning in the flesh and not in the spirit.  We are letting our circumstances control us and not allowing Christ to control us.
  • Controlling just everything that comes out of your mouth.
  • You can’t do everything.  God has to come first.

Matthew 6:33 – “Seek FIRST the kingdom…”

You can’t do everything.  So you have to select.

You can’t’ read everything.  So you have to select.

Our spiritual stature and maturity will be determined exactly and entirely by our discipline in selecting our priorities.

  1. Discipline is the path to purpose

I believe that one of our biggest problems in life is that we aren’t led by discipline and obedience, we are led by our feelings.

You can’t trust your feelings.  You have to follow God’s purpose and his word.  God’s word will not lead you astray.

I don’t want you to hear me say that discipline is Godliness.  Discipline isn’t holiness…but discipline in your life will put you on the path to Godliness.  Our goal is to be like Jesus.  Jesus was disciplined.  His whole purpose on coming to the earth was to live and die for you and me.

Hebrews 12:2, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”

Luke 9:23 Jesus said, “Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

Discipline isn’t what any of us want…but it’s what all of us need.  Spiritual depth is discipline.  If you want to be more like Jesus at the end of this year, then be disciplined in all that you do to become more like him.

  • Chris Jennings

    Such a great article, thank you for your insight! The Lord is speaking to my heart this morning on discipline and nearly everything here resonates with me. Just to add, I believe fasting and prayer can be a means to kick-start the new direction of discipline. Thanks again!

  • Anna Gamble

    This is amazing. Thank you