discipline is not a dirty word

All of us have  some sort of dream or vision—areas of our lives where we want to better  ourselves or achieve more.

Maybe it’s to  get in shape or have better physical health. Maybe you want greater financial  stability or greater success in your business. Some of you may be believing for  greater ministry opportunities.

Whatever your  goals are, there’s one thing for certain—it will be almost impossible to get  there without discipline and  self-control.

There was a  time in my life when I would think, If I  eat one of those chocolate chip cookies, I’ll have to eat a dozen.Why? Because I had no self-control…and  I had absolutely no faith in myself ever changing.

But here’s  the truth: We can change. By the  grace of God, we can begin making right choices and developing new habits that  will bring us the life we desire.

Know Your Power Source

First and  foremost, living a disciplined life and establishing new habits requires a lot  more than just will power.

“  Whatever your goals are, there’s one thing for certain—it will be almost impossible to get there without discipline and self-control. ”

I’ll never  forget the time years ago when I heard a teaching about the power of words.  That day, I left church and said, “That’s it! I’m going to shut my mouth and  not say one bad thing. I’m going to discipline myself!”

You can  probably guess how that turned out. Actually, I did manage to keep quiet, but then I realized I was  depressed. The Lord spoke to my heart and said, “You shut your mouth, but  nothing on the inside has  changed.”

Here’s the  lesson: Even when God asks us to do something, we still cannot do it successfully unless we lean on  Him. John 15:5 has changed my life. It says, …Apart from Me you can do nothing (NAS).

Take a little  time each day to read God’s Word and talk to Him in prayer. Some of my greatest  breakthroughs have been the result of simply sitting quietly in His presence,  letting Him know that I can’t do anything if He doesn’t make it happen.

You Can’t Have the “Perks” Without the “Works”

Years ago,  people were expected to work at their jobs for a long time before getting  raises, vacation and special benefits. Today, these things are expected up  front. I’m all for people having great benefits, but there’s a sense of  entitlement today that can actually hurt us.

I believe a  lot of people want the “perks without the works.” In other words, they want to  have all of the good results without having to discipline themselves or take  any of the responsibility to get them.

College  football coach, Vince Lombardi, famously said that he was going to teach his  players how to discipline themselves so they could have what they said they wanted to have.

You see, although  today we can microwave a meal, there’s no such thing as “microwave  Christianity.” Actually, I like to call God’s process “The Law of Gradual Growth.”  Why? Because little by little, as we make right choices, He delivers us from  our enemies and takes us where we need to be.

Yes, in the  beginning, disciplining yourself will be difficult. It won’t feel good and you  won’t like it. But every time you make a choice to do the right thing, the next  time it gets a little easier. And you  get one step closer to your goal.

Truth or Consequence?

The Bible  teaches us that wise people think about the consequences and care more about later onthan right now.

Yes, you canlive a lazy, undisciplined life and still go to heaven. But you  won’t have peace, you won’t be happy and, worst of all, you won’t glorify God  with your life the way He intended!

I encourage  you to start viewing discipline and self-control in a whole new way…as helpful keysto good health, peace, prosperity, great relationships, and the  satisfaction of fulfilling your purpose.

And remember,  whatever your goal is—whether it’s to get in good physical shape or change a  negative attitude—you have what it  takes. So start drawing on God’s power to help you  achieve it. As you do—little by little—you’ll begin to find more freedom, more  success, and more fulfillment than you could ever imagine.



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