Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to keep focused on Jesus

We all have drives, and the flesh to deal with. This is normal, this is good. However, when we give into these drives in a way that causes us to "dethrone" Jesus in our hearts, this is not good, it is bad, evil. It is to quit following and to head away from following Jesus.
The issue of frustration, therefore, is not our hormones, or drives, or physical "needs" but in our volition, will, choice. When we choose to give into the desires of our bodies (flesh, sarx), instead of following Jesus, it is then that we sin, error, go off the train, cease to follow Jesus, remove Him from being our Lord.
Paul addresses how to get control over our hormones & desires. In 1 Corinthians 9:27, he says, "I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have taught others, I myself will not be disqualified."
Which explains why I have a picture of Rocky here. The word "discipline" is a Greek word (in the original), that means literally, "below the eye" or to punch below the eye. It is a boxing term meaning to give someone a black eye. Paul is literally saying, "I beat my body" or subject it to discipline/punishment.
Some people take this to mean, like Martin Luther, self-flagellation. However, this doesn't stop anything, seeing that my body cannot be disciplined because it doesn't have a mind. The arm doesn't stop and think, "If I do this again, Jeff will beat me." Instead, what it means is that Paul willingly allowed his body to suffer hardship in order to follow Jesus. He denied his body's drives in order to honor Jesus & follow after Him.
Example- running a marathon. There is a thing called "the wall". It is then where the body says, "that's it. I've had it. I am not going any further, I can't do it." Some people quit when they hit this, but marathon finishers push through "the wall". When our hormones are high, when our different drives kick in, we need to push through those things rather than turning aside from honoring Jesus. We should tell our body, "no, we're not going there", thus giving it a "black eye". And push on through that momentary conflict...until it subsides.

Go read 1 Corinthians 9:27 & consider these rich word pictures from God's word. You can do it.

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