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You know those times when you hit the snooze button instead of waking up early? Or when you reach for that second slice of cake even though you promised yourself you’d eat healthier? We’ve all been there, wrestling with our lack of self-discipline. 

But here’s the thing: self-discipline isn’t only about getting fit or being productive. It’s a crucial ingredient in our pursuit of becoming the man Christ called us to be as well.

When we decide to follow Christ, we’re signing up for a life that’s set apart. It’s not about coasting through on autopilot; it requires intentional choices to put God first and love others. Developing biblical self-discipline is like a spiritual gym membership – the more we work at it, the stronger our connection with God becomes.

The Power of Biblical Self-Discipline

As followers of Christ, we’re called to grow in godliness, to sin less, and to become more like Him. That’s the process of sanctification. 

But let’s be real – it’s not easy. 

We face countless distractions and temptations every day that pull us away from our faith. That’s where spiritual discipline comes in with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual disciplines are practices that help us cultivate a deeper relationship with God and grow in our faith. They’re not about earning God’s love or favor – we already have that through Christ. Instead, they’re about training ourselves to be more like Him.

Embracing Morning Routines for Spiritual Growth

One of the most powerful spiritual disciplines and ways of exercising self-control is having a consistent early morning routine. When I start my day with God’s Word and prayer, it sets the tone for the rest of the day.

In addition to my early morning work for the Men of Strength Collective and the MOS website, I start the day with my coffee and Bible reading plan.

I’ve discovered that carving out time each morning to immerse myself in scripture and conversation with God is a game-changer. Rising early to open my Bible and pray may be challenging at times, but the peace and perspective it brings make it all worthwhile.

The Role of the Holy Spirit in Spiritual Disciplines

It’s important to remember that we can’t grow in spiritual discipline on our own. We need the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. When we engage in spiritual disciplines, we’re opening ourselves up to the Spirit’s transforming work.

Think of it like a power line. We can’t generate the power on our own, but when we connect to the source, the power flows through us. In the same way, as we connect with God through the Holy Spirit, His power flows through us, enabling us to live a godly life (Philippians 2:13).

The Necessity of Self-Control in Pursuing Biblical Self-Discipline

When it comes to spiritual discipline, self-control is non-negotiable. Just take a look at Galatians 5:22-23, where Paul calls it out as one of the fruits of the Spirit:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”

That means it’s not optional – it’s a must-have for anyone who wants to grow in their faith. But how do we actually live it out?

From Athlete Training to Spiritual Battlegrounds

Paul often used athletic metaphors to describe the Christian life, which perfectly applies to what we are trying to do here with Men of Strength USA. In 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, he compares it to the discipline of an athlete training for a competition. Just as professional athletes exercise extreme self-control in their training to perform at that level, we must exercise self-control in not only our physical training but in our spiritual lives as well.

Self-control is essential to living a biblically masculine life as a man. We must exhibit self-control in every aspect of our lives from the physical to the spiritual. Self-control is paramount to resisting temptation and taking proper action.

*Side Note: It’s important to remember that the gift of God’s grace through our genuine faith saves us and not our own works or effort (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Strategies to Resist Temptation Through Discipline

So how can we develop self-control and resist temptation? Here are a few practical strategies:

  • Identify your areas of weakness and avoid situations that trigger temptation.
  • Memorize Scripture to combat tempting thoughts (Psalm 119:11).
  • Pray for strength to resist temptation (Matthew 26:41).
  • Find an accountability partner or use the Men of Strength Collective to encourage you in your spiritual discipline.

Remember, developing self-control is a process. We won’t ever be perfect in the flesh, but as we rely on God’s strength and practice spiritual discipline, we’ll grow in godliness and as biblically masculine men who can lead others by example.

Integrating Bible Study into Daily Life

One of the most important spiritual disciplines is reading the Bible daily. God’s Word is our spiritual nourishment – without it, we’ll become malnourished and weak in our faith. 

But in our busy lives, finding time for in-depth study can be challenging.

Making Time for God’s Word Every Day

The key is to make Bible study a daily habit. Set aside a specific time each day to read and reflect on Scripture. It doesn’t have to be hours – just 15-20 minutes can make a big difference. That is why a morning routine is so helpful for most guys.

I like to study my Bible in the morning before I get to work and the day’s distractions set in and again in the evening before bed. I also keep a Bible app on my phone so I can read whenever I have a few spare minutes. I also listen to sermons that coincide with the current scripture I am reading for further study and meditation on the Word I am studying.

Find a time and method that works for you, and stick with it.

Overcoming Distractions and Cultivating Focus

Let’s be real: our smartphones are practically glued to our hands these days. More than 50% of internet users rely on mobile devices to stay connected, which means distractions are just a tap away. 

And when it comes to discipline, social media can be a major obstacle. It can be tough to stay focused when notifications and the allure of endless scrolling are constantly pulling us away.

The Impact of Social Media on Spiritual Life

62.6% of the world’s population uses social media and it’s rising every year with the average user spending 2 hours and 20 minutes on social platforms daily. If you think about it that is a lot of time.

While social media can be a tool for connection and even ministry, it can also hinder our spiritual growth if we’re not careful.

I’ve found that setting boundaries around social media use is crucial for maintaining focus on God and the more important things in life. This might mean limiting your time on social apps, unfollowing accounts that don’t align with your faith, or taking regular breaks from social media altogether.

Another thing to keep in mind is the more involved you are on social media the more exposure you have to potential sin, false doctrine, and false teachers depending on what comes up in your feeds.

Tools for Enhancing Focus and Productivity

Having a tool that keeps you focused even when life gets crazy like a productivity planner or something similar helps a lot of people. It helps you prioritize your time, set achievable goals, and stay accountable to your spiritual growth journey.

There are also apps designed specifically for Bible study and prayer, like the YouVersion Bible app and the PrayerMate prayer app. They can set reminders to pray/read as well which can be helpful.

Experiment with different tools and find what works best for you.

The Connection Between Discipline and Witnessing To Others

As we grow in spiritual discipline, it’s not just for our own benefit. It’s also for the sake of others. When we live biblically disciplined lives, we reflect Christ to the world around us.

Living Out the Good News Through Self-Discipline

People are always watching, and when they witness us pursuing a life of godliness through spiritual discipline, it speaks volumes. It’s a clear demonstration that our faith is not just talk, but a commitment to a way of life.

It sets an example for others to follow and displays to the world that we are set apart by God and are not like those who belong to this world of sin.

By demonstrating self-control, we show the transforming power of the Gospel. We become living examples of the good news we proclaim (Romans 1:16).

Testimonies of Transformation Through Discipline

Spiritual discipline is a catalyst for deep, lasting change. Just look at the countless believers throughout history – their stories of profound transformation inspire us to keep going, no matter how challenging our own journeys may be.

From Saul To Paul

The transformation of Saul to Paul is one of the most profound stories in the Bible, offering a powerful lesson on self-discipline and transformation.

Saul’s initial life was marked by zealous persecution of Christians; he was dedicated but misguided. His encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19) led not only to a dramatic conversion but also showcased the power of divine intervention and personal change. This story underlines that no matter your past actions God has the power to change hearts.

The Apostle Paul went on to write most of the New Testament and spread the Gospel of Christ to the gentile world.

His story is probably one of the best examples of spiritual discipline there is.

From Undisciplined Believer to Champion for Christ

Take the example of John Newton, the former slave trader who became a believer and wrote the well-known hymn “Amazing Grace.” Newton’s transformation began with a commitment to spiritual discipline, including daily Bible study and prayer.

Growing in his faith, Newton turned into a voice for the gospel and the movement to end slavery. The way he lived proves how spiritual discipline can completely change someone.

Practical Steps to Develop Self-Control

If you’re struggling with self-control, know that you’re not alone. Developing this fruit of the Spirit takes time and practice. It also takes the power of the Holy Spirit in you as a true believer. You will never fully develop this in your own strength.

Here are some practical steps to get started:

Identifying Areas of Weakness and Setting Goals

Start by honestly assessing your areas of weakness. 

Where do you struggle most with self-control? 

Is it in your thought life, your words, your actions? 

Identify specific areas where you need to grow and you can start small.

Map out reasonable targets for leveling up. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect to conquer the world overnight. Hone in on a goal or two at a time.

Daily Exercises for Strengthening Self-Discipline

Think of self-control as a muscle that needs daily exercise to grow stronger. Just like you wouldn’t expect to run a marathon without training, you can’t expect to have incredible self-control without putting in the work. 

Luckily, there are some easy ways to give your self-control a “daily workout”:

  • Practice saying “no” to small temptations, like snoozing your alarm or reaching for that extra snack.
  • Set aside time each day for prayer and meditation on Scripture.
  • Choose one area of your life to focus on each week, like controlling your tongue or managing your time wisely.

Remember, progress is more important than perfection. It is all about building these into new habits. It might be hard at first but it then becomes a habit in your mind and action and it gets easier.

Celebrate your victories and struggles with others and keep pressing forward.

If you need a place to do this, then consider the Men of Strength Collective. It is a place for men of faith to gather together and support each other on their journey’s toward more disciplined men of God while growing in biblical manhood, fitness, and preparedness.

Engaging with Scripture for Deepened Faith

As we’ve seen, Bible study is a foundational spiritual discipline. But it’s not just about gaining knowledge – it’s about encountering God, having faith, and being transformed by His Word ultimately.

Reflecting on Christ Jesus Through Scripture

When we read the Bible, we’re not just learning facts and stories. We’re coming face to face with the living Word Himself, Jesus Christ (John 1:1).

When we dive into Scripture, Christ’s character, teachings, and sacrificial love come alive. This draws us closer to Him, igniting our faith and making it stronger than ever.

Leveraging Prayer Requests in Community

Finally, let’s not forget the power of praying together in a community. When we share our burdens and lift each other up in prayer, we experience the support and encouragement of the body of Christ.

Sharing Burdens Through Prayer Requests

It can be vulnerable to share our struggles and prayer requests with others. But when we do, we invite others to come alongside us and bear our burdens (Galatians 6:2).

I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of praying together. When I’ve opened up about my struggles to close friends in my faith community, their heartfelt prayers have given me the courage to keep going, even in tough times.

When life gets tough, don’t be afraid to ask for prayer support from your local community. We have a specific space for this under the Faith section of the MOS Collective.

And be sure to return the favor by lifting up others in prayer too. Together, through the power of prayer, we’ll witness God’s hand at work in incredible ways.

Biblical Self-Discipline Conclusion

The importance of biblical self-discipline cannot be overstated. It’s the foundation upon which we build a life that honors God and bears fruit for His kingdom. Through consistent prayer, Bible study, and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can cultivate the self-control needed to resist temptation and pursue righteousness.

Remember, this journey of self-discipline isn’t about perfection, but progress. It’s about daily choosing to die to our flesh and live for Christ. And as we do, we’ll find ourselves growing in godliness, experiencing the joy and peace that comes from walking in step with our Savior.

So don’t get discouraged when you stumble. Get back up, dust yourself off, and lean into the grace and strength God provides. With His help and your commitment to self-discipline, you can live a life that shines brightly for His glory.

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