discipline ourselves, physically, morally, or mentally. ‘I wasn’t disciplined
when I was a child.’ You must discipline yourself now. If you do not, you will
ruin the whole of your personal life for God.” (December 10th)
THOUGHT: I knew from the moment I started blogging through “A Year with
Oswald” I would struggle with discipline. Being a
reluctant writer, I’m fairly amazed that I’ve made it through 33 weeks of the
scheduled 52 (with the help of a few guest bloggers, thank you very much!)
But as those of you who follow my blog may have noticed, the
goal of posting every Friday eventually pushed back to posting on Saturday, then
Sunday or Monday. For the past few weeks, my “Friday post” has appeared on
So much for discipline.
I was just bemoaning that fact to God in my journal this
morning. My blogging isn’t the only part of my life feeling the lack. There’s a renewed
strain on my waistband as well. After losing 30 pounds this year, I’m currently straddling
the must-not-go-past line on my scale. It’s time to do something about it. But that’s
going to require the renewed discipline of telling myself, once again, no.
Because you see, I have a problem. Unlike many of you, once
I start saying yes to my flesh, she tends to take over. And believe me, my
Flesh Woman has no idea what the term “everything in moderation” means. She’s
into excess. Excess food, excess shopping, excess escapism. Excess excess.
knows that our flesh is in direct opposition to His rule and reign in our lives (Romans 7:23). That’s why
He’s given the Holy Spirit to help us live victorious lives. To help us stand
against the whining manipulation of our flesh that demands we give into her
every whim, fancy and craving. But we’ve got to dethrone our natural self if Jesus Christ is to ever be enthroned in our lives as Lord.
That happens best as we learn to say no to ourselves. Such discipline isn’t meant to deprive us, but to set us free from the bondage of wanting more,
always more. For as we push back against the idolatry of self, something amazing happens. As we begin to willingly sacrifice
what we want, we mysteriously begin
to receive what we need.
natural life while we pamper it; but when we put it out in the desert and resolutely
keep it under, then God will be with it; and He will open up wells and oases,
and fulfill all His promises for the natural.”
God doesn’t want to withhold good things from us – He longs
to bless us! Right here. Right now. Wells and oases for our souls. Fulfilled
promises for our natural lives. But such
richness is only possible when we cooperate by sacrificing the natural so that God
is able to release the supernatural.
Christmas cookie or cup of eggnog on earth that compete with that!
you think it’s time to start saying no to our flesh so we can say yes to our