WHAT IS DISCIPLINE?
The word discipline has been described by scholars as a ‘branch of knowledge’, and the ability to conduct oneself in a way that would show obedience to follow an instruction that would lead to the desired outcome. This is why we have teachers and students, and it’s why all of us pursue a level of mastery in some ‘branch of knowledge’.
Just like Athletes, we need discipline to train when no one is watching, and to prepare ourselves for the “BIG EVENT”, an event that would put our training to the ultimate test. In this life, we are also being trained for a ‘BIG EVENT’ and we will “metaphysically” be tested to see if we are mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared for the next step. It’s something each of us will face, and that’s why we can’t keep making those foolish mistakes.
Discipline can also be seen as the hiding your father gave you for not following his instructions as your rebellious nature wanted to do things your way. It’s a natural part of growing up and the Bible has a lot to say about this kind of discipline. However, please don’t get me wrong, there are always two ways in which you can apply discipline. You can do it through love, (tough love for yourself and others), or through hate (anger, bitterness, unforgiveness) in an uncontrolled way.
As it is written, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” – Proverbs 13:24
Throughout life we are being disciplined by the Spirit of Christ, and whether we want to believe it or not, it’s true, and that is why Jesus is referred to as the Face of Grace. He made the ultimate sacrifice to put us in right standing with God, “for all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God“, and therefore we need to give and receive forgiveness, but we also need to show grace towards those who don’t see the way we do.
In today’s blog post I will share with you more on the concept of discipline and the mind of Christ, which is to sacrifice (effort, blood, to deny thy self), so that you may be edified spiritually and metaphysically. Words carry the power to reveal new things and plant new seeds. It’s important to care for what you believe, but it’s even more important to care for what you come into agreement with. So don’t just take my word for it, do some seeking of your own.
As it is written, “‘Consider this in your heart and know that just as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.” – Deuteronomy 8:5
sTEP 1: tHE MIND OF A DISCIPLE IS SET ON GOD
Discipline is the active decision we have to make to not take shortcuts in life. Discipline is doing the right thing, even if that’s the hardest thing to do.
If you choose to change your ways, then decide to see it through until the end, even if it takes 40 years of blood, sweat, and tears. The key is to embrace the resistance, go through the pain, and grow from the lessons you learn along the way. You will face new obstacles every day, but if you venture into the Unknown with a desire to unite your heart and mind, then you will see your vision manifested sooner than you might have ever have expected.
God has blessed you to be a carrier of His essence here on earth with skills (talents + abilities) that you can develop to maturity that would bring joy to your soul and glorify His Name. In the Bible we can clearly see the relationship between stewardship and the Master who returns to find His servants either working or asleep. The Master rewards his servants accordingly, and he makes them abound by giving them property of their own.
As it is written, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master!’” – Matthew 25:23
It’s exciting to know we are actually so blessed to have “the ability” and all it takes is our obedience to follow what we know is good and true; for us and for our families. Healthy habits and caring for your loved ones should always be priority number one as representatives of God’s love, but so too should your place of worship and workmanship be if you are called to serve the world like Jesus Christ came to do.
There will always be temptations knocking at the door, and saying NO will never get easier, but if you apply yourself, then you will become more confident in your ability to choose what is best for you and your family. It’s important to know that for everything you say NO to, you are saying YES to something else. Discern what lines up with your values and set goals that inspire you to say NO.
Where are your desires taking you. Think about your habits, the people you surround yourself with, the thoughts you keep.
Do they support your vision?
STEP 2: HOW TO CLEAR YOUR HEART AND MIND OF ALL DISTRACTIONS
If you freely allow distractions and fearful thoughts to steal from you, please eliminate them today by writing them down on a piece of paper and then choose to SAY NO each time they come to steal from you. This is a spiritual practice and heartfelt words can bring your requests before God. He wants to show you that He loves you and wants to lead you if you are willing to listen to His heart.
Most of the people reading this will simply follow along and think about their limiting beliefs for a brief moment, but never take the time to name and shame them. Putting things we hide in the Light shakes things up and this discomfort brings about change as we implement new ways to avoid those distractions. Learning to say NO to the temptations that keep you stuck in the comfort zone is the key to transformation.
Think of it like this: You really want to lose some weight so you can feel healthy, light, and great in a dress or shirtless, and you know what you need to change. However, you have never addressed the elephant in the room, and so you stay in your comfort zone. But for change to take place you need to face yourself in the mirror butt ass naked and then take a deep honest look at yourself. Are you happy with what you see?
As it is written, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” – Matthew 5:37
All of us know what’s good for us, it’s a gift called discernment we have all received as children of a spiritual God. Learning to be obedient to that gentle voice of wisdom that’s always available to us is the key to winning the battle for your soul (will and emotions). Distractions and temptations will keep you running back to your comfort zone, and we all know nothing changes if nothing changes. Einstein said it best when he described insanity – It’s doing the same things.
If we look back in time and we consider the great heroes and even the worst villains, then we can see they all had something in common. They had a desire to see a major change in the world and they were willing to shed blood, whether it was their own or the blood of people. For us to see that change we must take physical action with a conviction of what we believe. This is how change takes place; with a conviction of what you believe.
STEP 3: HOW TO WIN THE BATTLE FOR YOUR MIND EVERY SINGLE TIME
As it is written, “Behold, I have given you authority to trample snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will harm you.” – Like 10:19
The good news is that it doesn’t really matter what you believe if you are called by God. What do I mean by called? I mean you are a descendant of Adam, you are part of the Body of Christ, the Tree of Life – A branch grafted in by Jesus Christ. God has ordained you, and He chose you before the foundations of the earth, and He has blessed you to make manifest His glory in this life through your life. He wants to use you as a conduit of His blessing like He used Jesus Christ.
What does this mean to you? It means God has already done the work in advance, and He has poured His Holy Spirit of Excellence like the Good Wine so that He may lead you back to Him – The Vinedresser. That’s why you’re here on earth, so you can hear His thoughts towards you and see Him working in and through you; He wants to make you stronger and healthier while at the same time removing any limiting beliefs that lead to weak actions which are fueled by doubt and fear.
As it is written: “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of Hosts” – Zachariah 4:6
The disciples mind is strong; it needs to be. Without strength and an iron will he will give into temptation and be distracted by his enemy – The Deceiver of men. Learning to walk into everything God has for you will not be a walk in the park. It will be a journey through the desert where you will be refined as pure gold. This journey back to God is called the Ancient Pathway and it still applies to you and me as in the days when Moses led God’s people to the promised land.
This is the purpose of this blog and the entire Bodybuilding for Christ platform. The Spirit of God wants to lead His people back to the Original Design (The Family), and show them how God goes to work to bring about glory and honor as he intends to bless his people as He promised Abraham. This is the heritage given to us by the covenant Jesus Christ made on the cross with every believer who would call on the Name of the LORD. We are part of God’s Kingdom. We are reborn.
Jesus Christ said, ““If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32
STEP 4: HOW TO LISTEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT LEADING YOU
As it is written, “I am the good shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them in as well, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock and one shepherd.” – John 10:14
The truth is we have the free will to believe what we choose to, and if we act on what we believe, these actions will lead to outcomes we have chosen, not God. The images we look at, the words we accept, and the thoughts we think all plant seeds. If we water these seeds, and we allow them to grow, they will shape the way we perceive the world. When you do something “wrong”, you have a conviction don’t you? But you if do it again and again, you silence your conscience.
Our experiences will influence the way we act and speak as we treat others the way we see them, and we can either love them or hate them. The choice we make can clearly be seen in the way we act and speak. Our beliefs can either enslave us or free us. Faith is the essence of the unseen things we have chosen to believe, whether they are true or not. Acting on what you believe will shape your reality and affect those who share your space here on this green planet.
As it is written, “God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” – Genesis 1:27
Adam and Eve did not want this responsibility and so they blamed the serpent for what they did. They disobeyed the wisdom of God and chose from a place of fear, lust, and lack. They had all the fruits in the garden to choose from, but the one temptation to “be like God” made them fall from His Grace. It is pride that exalts us to do things our way, and this usually leads to pain and destruction. Just look around you, turn on the news, and see the fear in the eyes of those who pass by.
We cannot control the events that take place in life as there are too many factors that play a role in our relationships. But we can choose to respond according to God’s wisdom and not act from a place of fearful pride, doubt, or condemnation. Love is a selfless decision we make to sacrifice as we stand up for what we believe is true. If Adam loved his wife he would have stopped her from reaching for the “fruit”, but he chose not to, and together they disobeyed God’s way.
In the Scriptures it is written, “My child, pay attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not lose sight of them; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to the whole body. Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flows springs of life. Put away deception from your mouth; keep your lips away from perverse speech. Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Make a level path for your feet and all your ways will be sure. Focus and do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your feet away from evil. “– Proverbs 4:27
sTEP 5: THE TRUTH IS SIMPLE – PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
As it is written, “If you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” – John 13:17
Making mistakes is part of life. Nothing will ever grow or evolve without the learning curve. But many of us choose from a place of ignorance because we just don’t know what the truth is. We allow doubt to cloud our vision of who God is. We need to be vigilant about the information we consume and the people we choose to follow in this world. To be ignorant of the truth is to walk in the dark, you have no idea where you are going. Had you known you were in darkness, you would’ve been scared, but you’re not. You should be, but you’re still ignorant of the truth, which means you are lost without knowing you are lost. That’s a big paradox.
Jesus Christ came to open the eyes of those who are blind, and heal the wounds of those sitting in darkness. If you do not know what you do not know, then you won’t know until you do know. The beauty of God’s wisdom is that when you come to know God you will come to understand how very little you really know. Mastering your mind will cost more than you might think. We need to fight to rewire what’s been written by a new conviction through what He has written.
As it is written, “And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2
Change is hard, and God will challenge you to see things from His perspective and that is why He wants us to become One Spirit with His Spirit so that we may have the strength to do what we believe in our hearts is good and true. Intimacy with God is like a man and his wife who are unified in body and in spirit as they share their hearts in the most beautiful way. God wants this kind of loving relationship with you, where His thoughts are your thoughts because you know Him.
All of us are born of Holy Seed, and our enemy, the deceiver of the bretheren, the old serpent spirit wants nothing more than to destroy us through green envy. Jealous that God made us in His own image, and then called us children of the heritage and citizens of the kingdom of heaven. God has ordained us as royalty and we are here on earth to make a difference. We are here to make an impact that would last. Something so special that it would be perpetuated throughout eternity like the Light of a Star. You are a child of God, and this world is not your friend, neither is it your eternal resting place, so make every effort to discipline your heart.
As it is written, “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 you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
STEP 6: NAME & SHAME YOUR ENEMIES
Write down all the thoughts you are struggling with, and be honest with yourself. This is a healing exercise you can use to put your “demons” in the Light so they may be exposed by the truth and removed from your mind. Knowing they do not belong, and understanding what does, is the beginning of knowledge and growth on a much deeper metaphysical level. Challenge yourself to set a mental alarm (RED) that goes off every time a thought or word pops into your head that doesn’t line up with God’s heart for you. You are the gardener of your own soul, so listen to God’s perfect will.
Take a screenshot, or get a journal:
I think about_______________________ a lot.
I say__________________________ too much.
I struggle with_______________________.
I look like __________________in the mirror.
I’m not good at ______________________.
I’m afraid of ______________________________.
I believe ______________________________.
Make an active effort to wake up and push yourself every day. Make time to sit and pray, take a few deep breaths, meditate on what God said, and remind yourself of everything God wants to say about you and to you. Then stand up and walk the walk with certainty in your talk. You are called by Jesus Christ to stand tall as you shine His Light in the world. You are a conduit of blessing to the people around you, so make the sacrifice and do what you do for love and not for gain.
Apostle Paul writes, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—meditate on it.” – Philippians 4:8
Notes for Personal Reflection.
I believe if you have decided what you want from life, then you need to focus your mind on what He would do. You need to have a conviction of your personal gifting and where His Spirit is taking you on this journey to the promised land. Whether that is a place you will experience in this life or the next is not relevant, but God is the ever present God of this moment in time and His message to you is to have faith in what He has called you for. You is faithful until death. So trust Him, even in death. The truth is a Seed must first die before it becomes something else, so perhaps you have to let go of who you think you are in order to grow.
Why do I do what I do?
Why do I want what I want?
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
This is one of my favourite quotes by Marianne Williamson from her book, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3.
What and who you become tomorrow is a direct result of what you focused on today. Your mind will never stop working, and if you don’t take control, someone else will. That is why you cannot afford to conform to the norm of this god-forsaken world where money and power are used to buy your soul. As we listen to, and meditate on God’s wisdom, we can integrate what He reveals to us, and then we grow to know His perfect will for us.
Take the next step in faith.
sTEP 7: Master the Heart >>>
P.S. Be the Blessing.