Benefits of Self-Discipline
Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.1 John 5:4
Overcoming the world happens when we overcome fleshly desires that are displeasing to the Lord. While we are spiritual beings living in the flesh, our flesh is part of the world; when we overcome our flesh, which is our interface to the world, we have overcome the world. To overcome the world means we have overcome our sinful worldly thoughts including our sinful worldly emotions. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). Overcoming the world means we are no longer in bondage to the world but we are guided by the Holy Spirit as we minister to the world.
How can we overcome the world without the self-discipline that is enabled by the Holy Spirit? The Lord renews our minds, and without self-control our thoughts won’t change. Our brains are rewired according to how we think, but our thoughts don’t change if we lack self-control. The flesh takes control and we can lose the power of the Spirit. A Christian must seek self-control and pray for the Lord’s strength to overcome the world. Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control (Proverbs 25:28).
Loss of self-control can be caused by anger, a sinful habit, or from an addiction. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Losing self-control is achieved by not controlling emotions and feelings, and this is how Satan attacks us. If we cannot control our emotions, Satan will use us for his glory.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). We cannot be free in Christ if we cannot control our emotions. It is self-discipline and prayer that slowly changes our emotions to where they are in control and pleasing to God. Brute force is not always required to control our emotions; the Lord changes our hearts and our emotions.
Today, make a conscious effort to exercise self-control, in your thoughts, in your words, and in your actions. Recognize when Satan is using your emotions and feelings against you. Seek the Lord’s power to control your sinful emotions and to overcome your sinful feelings.
Prayer: Lord, help me to have self-control in all situations through your love and power. I know I can control my thoughts, words, and actions if I have self-discipline and call you for strength and power. I know I cannot achieve self-discipline without your divine guidance, strength, and power. In Jesus name, Amen