God’s Spirit makes us…self-controlled…’ Galatians 5:22-23 CEV
Is self–discipline difficult and demanding? Yes. However, instead of focusing on its demands, think about its benefits. When you begin to understand the power, liberty, joy and victory that self–discipline brings, you’ll want to have it. A disciplined mind makes the difference between a happy life and a miserable one; between a life of self–defeating habits and a life of freedom in God. Discipline is your friend, something to be embraced daily. It’s a tool given by God to help you reach your goals.
One reason why disciplining your mind is so important is that the condition of your mind can change so quickly. One day you can be calm, peaceful, sure of yourself and confident in God. Yet the next day you can hardly recognise yourself; you’re anxious, angry, negative, and full of doubt. Why? Because your thinking affects your emotions. Here’s something else you need to know: just as the airwaves around you are filled with signals that can be picked up by any radio or TV, there are spiritual forces around you that seek to mould your mind and influence your thinking. So ask God to help you, and refuse to allow your mind to think about whatever it pleases.
Begin to control your thoughts and keep your mind on the right things. Breaking old habits and forming new ones takes time, so keep practising. Developing self–discipline isn’t easy, but it’s worth it in the end. When you win the battle for your mind you’ll be much more decisive, confident and focused. You’ll also be a more effective and successful person
REST IS SPIRIT-DIRECTED ACTIVITY
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…JOHN 16:13
Resting in the finished work of Jesus is not inactivity or laziness. Rest will always result in Holy Spirit-directed activity.
While you are trusting God for your healing, you may need specific wisdom to deal practically with your physical symptoms. This comes from the Holy Spirit. He wants to guide you into all truth and lead you to victory.
For example, if you have a stomach ulcer, He may tell you, “Stop that stressful activity,” or “Spend more time playing with your kids.” You see, He knows exactly what the problem is and has the perfect solution that will bring about the results you desire!
Beloved, choose to tune in to the Spirit today and follow His promptings. You will find life, peace and victory!
CONTINUE IN GOD’S GRACE
2 Corinthians 3:6 – …for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
To the Jews, the feast of Pentecost is a celebration of the giving of God’s law. It takes place 50 days after the Passover feast. When God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, it was 50 days after they had celebrated their first Passover and come out of slavery in Egypt.
But what happened after God gave them the law on the first Pentecost? Three thousand people died! (Exodus 32:28) Contrast this with another Pentecost in the New Testament. In the book of Acts, it says that when Pentecost had fully come, God gave not the law but the Holy Spirit, and what happened? Three thousand people got saved (Acts 2:41), which goes to show that “the letter [the law] kills, but the Spirit gives life”!
The law, which was “written and engraved on stones”, ministered death. It killed 3,000 people. That is why the apostle Paul calls it “the ministry of death” and “the ministry of condemnation”. (2 Corinthians 3:7–9) On the other hand, the Spirit ministered life—3,000 people got saved.
My friend, when you come under the law by trying to keep God’s commandments in order to be blessed, it will lead to death. There will be deadness in your marriage, ministry, health, career…in your life. But when you depend on the Spirit of grace, it will lead to life. You will see breakthroughs and miracles (Galatians 3:5), and manifest the fruit of the Spirit.
So if you want to be blessed, make sure that you are on the right mountain. You see, the law was given on Mount Sinai, but the Spirit on Mount Zion. That is why the Bible says that “you have not come to the mountain [Sinai] that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest…But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels”. (Hebrews 12:18, 22) The Lord blesses you out of Zion (Psalm 128:5), and not Sinai!
Beloved, by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8) Now, continue in the Spirit of grace. Remain on
Fear not; I will help you. —Isaiah 41:13
I had laid out some landscape netting in my yard, upon which I was going to spread decorative stones. As I was preparing to finish the job, I noticed a chipmunk tangled up in the netting.
I put on my gloves and gingerly began clipping away at the netting. The little guy was not happy with me. He kicked his hind feet and tried to bite me. I calmly told him, “I’m not going to hurt you, buddy. Just relax.” But he didn’t understand, so in fear he resisted. I finally snipped the last restricting loop and sent him scampering home.
Sometimes humans feel entangled and react in fear to the Lord. Through the centuries, He has offered rescue and hope to people—yet we resist Him, not understanding the help He provides. In Isaiah 41, the prophet quotes the Lord as saying, “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not; I will help you’” (v.13).
As you think about your situation, how do you see God’s role? Are you afraid to turn things over to Him—for fear that He might harm you? He is good and He is near, wanting to free you from life’s entanglements. You can trust Him with your life.
In what area of your life do you need freedom? Ask the Lord to show you and to give you the faith to trust Him for His deliverance.
Faith is the best antidote for fear.
GREAT PEACE …
Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. – Psalm 119:165, ESV
God not only wants to give you peace, He wants to give you great peace! When you love the law of the Lord, nothing can make you stumble, and nothing can steal your peace!
Great peace gives you joy when it doesn’t make sense for you to be happy. It’s peace that passes understanding. Great peace keeps you stable and strong no matter what you face.
Today, make the decision to focus your attention on God’s Word. Psalm 119:105 says that His Word is a lamp to our feet and light to our path. His Word directs us and protects us. Choose His Word today and embrace the great peace God has in store for you!
GOD’S PEACE …
Luke 10:5 – “And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.”
Peace is the result of casting our care upon the Lord through prayer and thanksgiving. However, many people are asking God to give them peace so that their cares will leave. It doesn’t work that way. Through faith we cast our cares on the Lord, and then God’s peace comes. Christians who are lacking God’s peace have not taken their cares to the Lord and left them there. All Christians have peace. It is a fruit of the Spirit that is always present in our born-again spirits. Cares will blind us to God’s peace. When we eliminate the cares, peace flows.
Being carnally minded doesn’t just tend toward death, it is death. Likewise, being spiritually minded doesn’t just tend toward life, it is life and peace. A person who says he or she is spiritually minded and yet is experiencing death is deceived. If we would just dominate ourselves with the spiritual truths of God’s Word, we would receive only life and peace.
True peace, which comes from God, only comes by grace through faith. No one who seeks to obtain right standing with God by his own effort will ever have God’s peace. Human peace is only experienced in the absence of problems. Those who only know human peace don’t experience it very often and to a lesser degree. But God’s peace is independent of circumstances and infinitely greater in supply than any problem we could ever have. God has given us His supernatural peace to enjoy. What a blessing!