Few weeks ago, we started considering the issue of self-discipline as one of the major determinants of human destiny. We have discussed habits of self-discipline and Disciplined listening. But as I meditated further, my discovery about the virtue of discipline has been increasing still.
In all my discoveries, one thing that stands out is a new perspective of what self-discipline really mean. Having considered what the Bible says about it and various examples of people who won because they embraced the life of discipline and those who ruined themselves because they flaunted the instruction of discipline, I came to conclusion that self-discipline is simply self conquest.
The ability to conquer self is the summary of a disciplined life. Harry S. Truman once said, “In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves. Self-discipline with all of them came first.” In all the battles we fight in life, the greatest battle is the one against our-self. The most dangerous battle is the battle with yourself and that is the battle of putting your flesh and desires under control.
General Samson, an ancient warrior who lived in the era of Judges between 1200 and 1000 BC was a one-man battalion. He won all his battles by solely defending his nation against the Philistines – the warlords of his time. He fought and won victories for his nation. He became a threat to the opposing forces.
But in all the battles Samson fought and won, he could not win over his own flesh. He was a slave to his own flesh, always being ruled by uncontrolled passion for sex and lustful pleasures. Samson was a champion over external enemies but a slave to internal enemies – his own flesh.
The world presently is not in shortage of mighty, anointed and great leaders who can defend their families, communities and their nations like Samson. There are gifted men all over the place. But the problem is that how many have been able to conquer-self.
Great living starts and sustained when we are able to become dedicated to disciplined living. And the key to a disciplined life is self-conquest. The first thing we must always remember in order to remain dedicated and untiringly committed to disciplined living is that – the battle with self is a continuous battle.
The way to have victory over the consuming passion of our flesh and emotions is by doing what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:31, “…I die daily.”
Until these three destiny determinant words become our lifestyle, we will continue to be ruled by the dictates of our flesh, submitting to uncontrolled passions and excesses. In fact, we may continue to climb the ladder of success faster than expected, winning over external battles of life, but if we remain a slave to our own flesh, we are only like a vehicle running a high speed with a near empty fuel tank.
Just like the saying, “There’s a little that can withstand a man who can conquer himself.” There’s no excuse for not fulfilling our God-given destiny if only we can rule above the flesh.