Summary: A message about the importance of developing strong self-discipline.
Covenant Youth Mission
June 27, 1995
Who’s in Charge?
How many of you here tonight believe that God created you?
How many believe that there is something special about you, that there is some plan or destiny that you have to fulfill?
With youth comes tremendous power, the power of life itself. You have the power of a clean slate. Your life is still a blank page, there are between very few and no blemishes and you can write your story in any way you choose.
From here your life can be a controlled trip through exciting locals of your choice as you follow the leading of God’s Spirit OR; it can be a pinball like ride bouncing off of bumpers, flippers and dead ends at the mercy of chance and circumstance.
Like a city whose walls are broken; down is a man who lacks self-control.
The difference is a matter of control – self-control.
Tonight I want to challenge you to seize the reigns of the runaway horse that is your life.
Tonight I am calling you to begin to steer your life in the direction you want to go.
Three areas for self-discipline:
1. Your spiritual life.
The first and most important discipline you will ever develop is consistency in your devotional life. There are two key aspects to this particular discipline:
A.) In relationship with God.
If you get into the habit of seeking God in the word and through prayer, both asking and listening, you will grow, and you will lay a foundation of stability for your life that will not be shaken, come what may.
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
In relationship with God value listening ten times more than talking. I know not everyone is going this way at your age but if you follow the crowd the crowd will never follow you.
B.) In dealing with the enemy.
You are going to face all kinds of temptation and young people are famous for claiming that it was more than they could handle.
“Everyone was doing it; I just went along with them.”
“I didn’t think I would get caught and it didn’t hurt anyone else.”
“But he’s so fine / she’s so hot; I couldn’t help myself.”
It’s time to drop the excuses and get tough on the devil.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
2. Your physical life.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
You should avoid sexual immorality and learn to control your body. That is pretty straight forward.
What do you struggle with in your physical life?
Whether you wrestle with sexual issues, addictions, gluttony, or laziness the longer you wait to deal with it the harder it will be to get control of.
3. Your mental life.
If you don’t get control of your emotions your life will be like a pinball game.
You will be up and down like a toilet seat.
Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.
Un-checked anger destroys marriages and families. Words get spoken or yelled that never should be thought let alone uttered.
Self pity will leave you miserable and alone.
Impulse spending will put you in the poor house if you buy something for yourself every time you feel down in the dumps.
The mistake people make in not controlling their emotions is that they allow them to direct their lives. I don’t “feel” like I still love my wife so I’m out. This job isn’t making me happy so I’ll just quit.
The emotions do not set life’s direction, that job belongs to the will.
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
The good things in life belong to the slightly above average because average is common.
Get disciplined and get going on that special purpose God has for you.