by - Saturday, May 09, 2015

This is one of the hardest things as it involves dying to self. It challenges you as a Christian and poses the question “How deep is your love for Jesus?” I will tell you about my journey with discipline and hopefully this will help you.

Fasting was something I doubted myself ever doing. I felt that my love for food was too strong. I would often seek advice from people, they told me that I should start off doing morning fasts and build from there. That was all I felt that I could do.

2014 was a good year in the sense that it was a year that I really challenged myself to get closer to the Lord, for real this time. No more back sliding and letting things get in the way of my relationship with the Lord. I was just ready to be for real.

My brother in Christ really planted the seed for me to start fasting, whilst God watered it. He told me that I can do it and mentioned times that he challenged himself to do a 30 day fast, only breaking fast in the evening. I was amazed but eager to make this change in my life. We decided to fast every Wednesday and break fast at 4pm.

This worked amazingly because we encouraged each other. We sent each other prayer via text message with a scripture. The beauty of having Christian friends is real because sometimes we need that encouragement in the body of Christ. We may doubt ourselves but Jesus has a bigger plan. This is why it is important to shine our Christian light and just be our selves without shame. We never know when we will be used to help one another.

Anyway, when I started full time work I decided to fast every Saturday, when I had a day off. I feel that the whole point of fasting is to get closer to the Lord and I could not really do that at work. I always have something to do at work and would rather spend my time praying, listening to sermons or reading the Bible.

Food is a beautiful gift given by God, but this does not mean that we should be greedy with it and eat above what we need. Living in London, there is such a wealth of variety so we are spoilt for choice. But self-control is key. Fasting really strengthened me as a Christian and now I cannot do without it. I must fast once a week or more if I can. This is not to boast, but to encourage you to die to self and spend time with the Lord.

My flesh is uncomfortable fasting, but my spirit is strengthened. It is not an enjoyable thing to do but I know it benefits me. The hunger reminds me of how hungry and desperate I am for the Lord to be in my life. I am not focused on my next meal, but if the thought comes to mind I fight to focus on His most Holy word.

When it is that time of the month, I take a week off. I tried to fast on that occasion and I was throwing up. Your body may be able to take it but mine cannot, so I just see that as my break.

Another way I have learnt to discipline myself is through exercise. I do not really enjoy it! But I know that I need to do it. The thing is, our bodies are God’s temple and we need to look after them.

1 Corinthians 6:19
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.

 It does not make sense for me to be eating like there is no tomorrow – I may end up getting overweight or getting ill. Things like diabetes, heart disease or just pain from being overweight is no joke. These are things that can happen.  Luckily my naturally slim physique has been my reality all my life. Just because we are Christians, does not mean that we are exempt from such things. So let us practice discipline and treat our bodies with care.

 Hebrews 12:11

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

The last example I have is that I have trained myself to be single like St Paul. I used to be the girl who wanted a ‘perfect’ relationship to make me ‘happy’. But I found that I was allowing men to get in the way of my relationship with Jesus. I remember a particular relationship I was in, I would try and change him and teach how to practice celibacy, go to church and be a Christian. But what I did not know was that I was turning him into a liar and pretender. This was simply because he did not want to do the things I desired. All the signs that he was the wrong person for me were there. From his octopus hands to his lack of discipline.

God was telling me to break up with him from the longest. I kept fooling myself that things would work out. Then God saw that I was not ready to listen and so he broke up with me. Deep down I knew with time that this was the best way for me. I am now celibate and single.  God has truly healed the pain and rejection I felt from him leaving me. You see, if we do not learn to wait for a Godly husband, we will end up with a liar and pretender. Is it worth it? I am glad I dodged that bullet. I do not even desire for sex, I am content with the way things are. If I have any sexual thought I have learnt to burn them up like fire and remind myself that I serve a mighty and living God.

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

It is important that we are aware of what we take in, who we talk to and spend our time with. Pornography is destructive and can occupy thoughts. Be careful what you spend your spare time doing. Masturbating is not right in God’s eyes, we are taught to flee from sexual immorality. The Bible even teaches that there should not be even a hint of sexual immorality in us.

Ephesians 5:3
But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

I was ready to be real with myself and Jesus broke every chain. I have never been this content being single. I get lonely days where it would be nice to have male company. But I am encouraged that patience is key and that one day God will provide me with a Godly husband. I know that I am worth the wait. And you beautiful, are worth it too.

Discipline is good, because it will prepare us for other stages in our lives. When God blesses me with a baby, I may be more likely to control my eating then. When I am married (by the grace of God) I would have practiced how to die to myself in my single life – if there is a point where we are not having sex, I will be able to be faithful and wait. I will learn how to serve my husband and forget about putting myself first all the time.

Be encouraged! x

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