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Learning To Discipline Ourselves For The Race
12/9/2016

You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; Daniel 5:27 (NKJV)

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN, was what the finger of God wrote upon the wall of King Belshazzar—telling him, your finished. The literal translation of this divine writing translates to, God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. He was basically being told, “You don’t have what it takes to do the job right."

There is something very revealing when we face tough challenges as our weaknesses are exposed. I found myself reminiscing of the years I raced motorcycles in the desert. When race day came, it was time to take the test with respect to my abilities and conditioning. If I had faithfully taken the time to properly prepare myself for the event, I would do well, even when challenges and unforeseen obstacles popped up and hindered my efforts. My whole emphasis on training was to be fit both physically and mentally, so I could be disciplined within the race and focus on the goal of finishing well. 

When you think about it, it is the same with our being prepared to do the work of the Lord. In our race to finish our lives well, as Christian men and women, we will encounter many obstacles along life’s challenging racecourse. And our ability to do our part will be brought to the test.  What we do to prepare for these tests will very well impact whether we will be faithful to do what our Lord has taught us and shown us by example. 

So how can we keep from being weighed and found wanting in the way we live? How can we keep from having our marriages and other relationships damaged, divided or even destroyed? How can we be prepared, and ensure we won’t be lacking when we face tests and trials?

It starts with preparation. We must be faithful to prepare in advance for the tough times and unforeseen challenges we will face. If we are reading our Bibles and spending time with the Lord in prayer — seeking His wisdom and discernment daily — then we will be prepared to meet those physical and spiritual obstacles with a humble heart and a properly placed confidence in Christ. Again, we should be setting our goal on being disciplined and finishing well. This is what Paul was speaking of to the Corinthians.

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NKJV)

So in essence, we should train ourselves to be spiritually fit for Christian service — ready to be used at any moment. But we must understand, even when we are fit, there will be challenges within our lives revealing how far we have to go. It is pride for us to believe we can meet any challenge alone without God. These challenges simply remind us how we should always be fully dependent upon Him (John 15:5).

Our flesh will always war against our spirit (1 Peter 2:11), so I want to encourage you to discipline your flesh and bring it under submission (Gal. 5:16; 2 Cor 7:1). We can do this through fasting, prayer, setting times of studying the Word, or simply making time to fellowship with other believers and serving the body. The plan should be to make it a part of our lifestyle. Remember, it is our reasonable sacrifice as Christian men and women (Rom 12:1). The last thing we want is to be weighed in our Christian walk and found to be wanting.

STUDY QUESTION: According to 1 Cor. 9:27, how did Paul prepare for the tests and trials he would ultimately face as a follower of Jesus Christ?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you preparing yourself daily to be used by God? Are you focusing on finishing strong and running the Christian race well?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Make it your goal to discipline your flesh regularly. Make it a priority to write your goals for study times, fasting, fellowship, and praying with God.

PRAYER: I want to encourage you to make this your prayer today. Father, thank You for teaching me the lessons I need to learn through everyday life experiences. Father, help me to continue to crucify the desires of my flesh and to bring it under submission. Father, thank You for reminding me of my dependence upon You, lest pride make its way into my life. Help me today with wisdom and discernment and continue to guide my life. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 


Copyright ©2012 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000