From last week, you’ll recall that no success principles work without self-discipline. God gave us a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. (2 Tim 1:7 NIV) But we must put what He gave us to work.
We started talking about 3 spiritual keys to help with self-discipline. The first key is simply deciding to obey what God puts in your heart to do.
The second key is decide to fast:
There’s something spiritual about fasting that enables you to put your flesh under subjection to your inner man, that alerts your spirit to God and stirs you up to do the will of God. If you’ve battled for years with a lack of self-discipline, I’d highly recommend that you take those issues to God in prayer and even declare a fast. As I mentioned last week, to fast successfully, you need to commit it to the Lord that you’re going to fast for such and such amount of time and that you believe you receive the results of your fast before you begin.
It’s recommended to fast certain foods that you crave. There’s something powerful that happens when we call on God and make a commitment to fast before the Lord. It’s a supernatural thing that fasting actually activates your self-discipline. Keep your commitment to the Lord Himself and when you do, you’re not just trying to fast with your own strength but Almighty God is giving you supernatural strength. As a result, your spirit will be awakened to God and you will hear His guidance clearly.
While spiritual fasting is definitely abstaining from food, one can add fasting things like TV, the Internet and anything that distracts you from spending time with God. Without spending time in the presence of God, listening to Him, ministering to Him and meditating on His Word, fasting may be nothing more than physical hunger.
The third key is decide to always give. We are most like God when we give. Giving enables you to seek first the kingdom of God and thereby keep your priorities right. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. So many times we want God to ‘bless’ us but when we put God first in our finances, our heart follows. So giving will do more to adjust your heart than any other act will do.
These three keys will actually remove laziness, procrastination, lethargy, lack of energy and motivation. Something happens in the spiritual realm when you follow these three keys. When you declare to the Lord that you decide to obey Him, you declare a fast and you choose to be a consistent generous giver, it’s like a referee blowing a whistle and getting everyone moving into position. Theodore Roosevelt an American former president said that ‘with self-discipline, anything is possible.’