Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (ESV)
First Corinthians 9:24-27
How hard it is to remain disciplined! Our flesh fights us every single day. If you are eating right, exercising, taking care of your prayer life, the study of God’s Word and in good fellowship with your brothers and sisters… you are in the good zone; a zone where you are enjoying peace, joy, wisdom, good decision-making, stable emotions, etc. But how easy it is to get off that zone, it does not take much.
You wake up one morning and did not spend time with God in prayer and the study of His Word; you did not take any time to fellowship with the Holy Ghost. At work it was one of those days where people got on your last nerves (Clients and co-workers). That day for lunch you ate fast food. After work you had plans to go to the gym, but you changed your mind, you grab some more fast food on your way home looking for something that would make you feel good after a horrible day. You get home and now you are tired. All you want to do is seat in your couch and watch TV. A few hours later you ate again and, next thing you know the day is over; is time to go to sleep as you feel exhausted. Your sleep was not all that great but is time to get up and do it all over again. You saw the Bible at the table, but you are too tired to read anything. You are now late, you grab some coffee on your way to work… you get the picture!
One day of these undiscipline behaviors becomes two days, a week, a month, and next thing you know you are so far away from God that you become insensitive to His Spirit, wondering what happen and how everything started. The Bible encourages us to “…walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16 (NIV) There is no way around this thing, we must insist on walking by the Spirit. Beloved, salvation is a gift from God, it does not depend on works, however, walking in the Spirit is an act of our will.
You need to choose to pray, you need to choose to study God’s Word, you need to choose to fellowship with the Holy Ghost and you need to choose to fellowship with your brothers and sister. If you are not doing these things, the result of a life without God is death. Romans 8:6 tells us clearly, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (NIV)
Walking in the Spirit is something that can’t be delegated to your pastor, the elders, your wife, husband, dad, or mom. It is our individual responsibility to go after God and to have a personal relationship with Him. I can give you a million Bible studies, if you are not willing to follow God… I am wasting my time… and you are wasting yours. I am so glad that I do not depend on ministry to make a living and that I am not into numbers… I minister to those God bring my way and those he put in my heart to reach out to. But if folks don’t want to be ministered to, I pray for them, but I am not running and wasting my time and. energy trying to convince them to follow God… I don’t have the power to save them. But for those who God gives me to disciple… I pray I find myself faithful… I always do my best to make time for you.