Saturday, February 23, 2013

Discipline Your Spirit

Matthew 28:18 - And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost:
:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and , lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Some Christians believe that these verses mean leaving their home and traveling across the world to witness to others about Jesus. While some are called to do that, many are called to do that in their own city, home, neighborhood, family. Some will never leave a 100 mile radius of their home, yet will lead many to Christ.
It is not about going to foreign places to tell about Him (although that may be what He calls you to do) but about telling everyone you meet about Him.

Disciple means to be a disciplined learner and follower of Christ. As we learn His ways we are to share that with others.

The disciplines in God's word bring great security into our life. Discipline is not a bad thing. Look at little children. If there is no discipline in their life it is obvious very quickly. They don't listen to anyone. If we are not disciplined as Christians, will we listen for God's still small voice? Will we even hear it? Disciplined children are a joy to be around, and it is the same with us and God. If we are disciplined in the ways of God, we are a joy for Him to be around.

Just like a stool with three legs, we are made up of spirit, soul and body. Just as a stool with one or two legs shorter then the other, the stool will be unsteady, if we are not disciplined in all three areas we will not be steady either.

Here are some ways to be disciplined in your spirit man.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.
:6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
:8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

God uses everyday things to teach us important things. It is how He makes it understandable to us.  He shows us how it applies to the spiritual part of our life.

We need to look at things through our spirit man. There are things God wants to teach us using things in our every day life. Sometimes we miss the little lesson. It is why sometimes we think why am I having to deal with this again? Probably because we didn't learn that lesson the first time.

Just as a plant that is doing really well has a good root system, our root system needs to be in God and flourishing. It will show on the outside.

How do we do that?

4 Purposes of a spiritual root system:

1. It is unseen. Just as in a plant our root system is unseen to others. Only visible to God. No one knows what your heart looks like except God. You can fool people, but not God. The way you act when you are no longer around "godly" people, that shows your root system.  We must faithfully nurture that area. Jesus was the same in public and in private. Can we say the same thing?

2. It is for taking in. When we spend time with God, we are taking in to our root system of our heart. We are nurtured and fed. It is how you prepare for going out into other situations that are not gonna be easy. Your root system and making sure it is fed and nurtured is your responsibility. Only you will stand before God at the end of your life and answer for what your heart looks like. It is no one else's fault the what  condition your heart is in but yours.

3. They are for storage. They serve as a storage unit for what we are gonna need later on for situations we will find ourselves in. We are all gonna find ourselves in tough situations. But if we have prepared our root system in God, we will survive.

4. They are for support. Without a well developed root system we become pretty to look at, but no strength underneath. We can put on a good show. People will think we are strong in the Lord, but it is just for show. That doesn't mean everyone who looks like they are godly aren't, but not everyone who appears to be are. Some people can put on a good show for a little while. But if you could see them when they think no one but family is watching you would be shocked at who they really are. Do we really believe God isn't there hearing / seeing what we are doing / saying? We blame it on the other person. It is because they did/ said ... Do you think God is gonna judge you that day by how someone else acted? What they said? Absolutely not. He will however judge you on how you reacted to what they did or said. That's tough isn't it? Cause we get hurt, upset, angry when we are mistreated or feel like we have been mistreated. But we are still required to act as Jesus would. Would Jesus hit that person? Would He curse them? Would He throw things at them? Would He use His words to strike them? Recently I read something that said Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will hurt forever. It's true. The children's saying says words won't hurt. Words are forever. Bruises and broken bones hurt, but they eventually heal. I am not saying physical abuse is not as bad as words, just that they both are just as painful and destructive. Both are wrong. God will require us to answer for every word out of our mouth. Something to think about the next time someone upsets us isn't it?

How to develop a strong root system:

1. Develop the habit of drawing near to God

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you, Cleanse your hands ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

It requires action on our part. A small step. How do we do that? We attend church, bible studies, but it is more then that. We must spend time every day with God. Pray, spend time in His word, listen to worship music. We should remember He is always with us. It is continually putting God first in your life. We act and talk differently when we remember God is right there with us.

2. Design a personal time for drawing near to God. There is no perfect time to do it. Some will do better early in the morning, some at lunch time, some late at night. Some days it may be early, another day it may be before bed. It may only be 5 minutes. It may be an hour. The amount of time is not important, what is important is the quality of time you spend with God. Where you focus just on Him. Where you listen to Him. He speaks to you through His word, worship music, prayer time, listening for His still small voice.

3. Desire to become a woman after God's heart. God said this about David. I pray God says that about each of us. All that matters is what God says about us.

What kind of woman spiritually do you want to be in the next year? Only you can work toward that. If it isn't important to you it won't happen. None of us should be satisfied where we are in Christ. None of us are perfect or will be till Jesus comes. If you aren't growing closer to Him you are moving away from Him. He hasn't moved. It takes action to get closer to Him.

Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.

It is our responsibility to acknowledge Him, and then He will direct us. In this verse we and God have a responsibility. If we do our part, God will do His part.

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