Discipline, Success And A Life Of Devotion To God

There is a price to be paid for greatness in life. Success does not just happen out of the blues, it is sometimes a result of going through a careful, and well thought-out set of behaviors, and putting in place in one’s life a system of discipline that guides one’s actions. No man truly becomes successful without going through a process. Everyone wants to be successful.

That is fine! There is a saying that success has many friends, but no one wants to be identified with failure. You can hardly ask anyone if they want to succeed in whatever they do, and their response would be in the negative. And when we are talking about success, they are accumulation of series of achievements and accomplishments in various areas of life and endeavors.

Success in marriage, success in academics, success in ministry, success in raising your kids, success in bringing an organization into where it is ought to be per time – the accumulation of these are what gives the total big success in life. You will be deemed successful or not, when these different areas of your life are being weighed. But in order to be successful, discipline is a key. Discipline here simply means “control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed.” I have read books about successful people, including great men of God who succeeded in the things of God. There is no one of them that undermine the place of discipline.

It is discipline that is the foundation of good success. Remember the scripture says if the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do? There is no one that wants true success, that wouldn’t embrace discipline as a key.

Joshua 1:8 says “the book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you must meditate upon it days and night.” It takes great discipline to be able to chew the word of God all the time, and then meditate on it every now and then. But Joshua said the end result is “prosperity and good success.”

People who achieve great success without discipline end up making a mess of their successes. Solomon in the bible had great success in the beginning of his leadership career in Israel as king, but his appetite for women as a result of indiscipline made a whole mess of the whole story in the end (1Kings 11:1-13). Gehazi was another example, he would have been a worthy successor and take over the baton from Elisha, but because he lack discipline – not being able to take away his eyes from money; he missed it (See 2Kings 5:20-27).

Let’s examine great people who achieved lasting success through a system of self-discipline in their lives, and who were able to go through the rigorous process. Apostle Paul in 1Corinthians 9:27 said he was able to put his body under. The body here means his flesh. There are a lot of things that people would want to achieve in life, but the challenge of being able to put their body under control has being their problems. Jesus said in Matthew 26:41 that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak that is, unwilling.” The word for “spirit” in this passage is the Greek word pneuma, which in this context refers to the soul of man or the mind. The word for “flesh” refers to the human body and nature, with its moral and physical frailties.

To be greatly successful in life, we must be willing to put our body under control. Since we have given our lives to Jesus Christ, the bible says we are no longer fleshly ruled, but we are spirit ruled. Under no circumstances should our body be the one telling us or ruling – we should rule our body.

Jesus was a great example. The bible says in Hebrews 12:1-2 that who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, and despise the shame. Jesus had to pay a serious price for the position and the success that he has today. Today, there are over 2.2 billion people that are associated with him as a result of self-discipline – being able to go through the process.

Today, he has a name that is above every other name Philippians 2:5-11. Today, people have made a shipwreck of their success because they lack discipline. Great athletes, sports men and women – have all tarnished their images because of indiscipline. If we are really going to do great things for God and for ourselves, we must embrace discipline. We must be ready and able to pay the price. We must be willing and be ready to go through the process.

More importantly, we must also know that discipline begins from a life of devotion to God. This life of devotion is not automatic; there is a place of abiding in Christ. To abide with Christ means to walk with him consistently and continually. The bible says Eunuch walked with God and God took him. A life of devotion to God begins by consistently having a time we pray.

There is a place of consciously activating devotion to God permanently through prayers (Luke 18:1, Matthew 6:5-7, 2Cornthians 5:7). Jesus’ life was a classic example of a life devoted to God. Everything that he does and accomplish for God are things he got from the place of devotion. Throughout his earthly ministry, he maintained a consistent prayer life and observed His study life vigorously. He never left anything to chance.

He never said anything when God is not telling him to say it, he never go where God didn’t send him; he never assumed God is speaking when God hasn’t said anything to him. True success comes when we are disciplined in our devotion with God (Read John 15). When we are disciplined in our devotion with God, every other thing would fall in place; and good success will be the end result.


Do You Remember That Guy That Gave Up?

I posed this ‘quote-like’ question to a young man recently who was on the verge of giving up. I asked him, do you remember that guy that gave up? At first, he was shocked, wondering what man was that. After sometimes, he responded by saying ‘No’. So, I told him me neither. No one would ever remember that man or woman that gave up on their dreams and aspirations. The world only celebrates people who didn’t quit. Even, heaven will not rejoice over that soul that gives up.

Circumstance and situations would push to the point of wanting you to throw in the towel. One of the easiest things to do in life is to give up. Even Jesus was almost caving in. He said “O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as i will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). me.” Giving up is not peculiar to the weak alone, even the strongest of persons can be tired and frustrated, to the point of quitting. But it is your choice not to give in to that temptation. Jesus chose to stay strong and finish his assignment.

Thomas Edison was asked how he felt to have failed one thousand times before he could invent the light bulb. The man simply responded by saying he didn’t actually fail one thousand times,  but rather the light bulb was an invention with one thousand steps. Some of us would have given up if we were in Thomas Edison’s shoes. How many steps have you taken in order to make your dreams come into fruition? Perhaps one, two, or maybe five hundred steps and it has not yet manifested. Don’t give up, keep taking more steps. If Thomas Edison had given up at the 999th time, we would not still have heard of him today.

Maybe that next step you are considering of taking is the big deal for you. That could be where your breakthrough has been programmed to manifest. It has been said that a lot of people give up at the point when they are almost clinging with their miracles. You must keep pushing and keep trying until you have your miracles in your hands. Sometimes it could be hard, sometimes difficult to even bother about taking the next step; but you have got to give it a try. One more trial wouldn’t do you any harm.

There are stories of people who wrote certain exams for more than once, some twice and others four times before passing. I remember I wrote jamb four times before I could pass it and then secure admission into the University. What if people like that had given up, what if I also gave up, maybe I would have ended up not having a university education today. The point is this: it is those that endure till the end that shall be victorious. The road could be rough, the challenges may be many, but you just have to continue to try. You may have bidded for a contract and then lost, why not try again. Bid for another one.

There is no glory without some kind of story behind them. Some stories may be palatable, others may be unpleasant to the ears. But those who we all celebrate their glories and achievements today all have been through stuffs as well. If they had stopped along the way, maybe we wouldn’t be celebrating them today. My charge to you as you read this short piece and step into this new week is this, never give up. Don’t let discouragement derail you from achieving that dream, go after it.

Don’t forget this one last point: no one would remember that man, that woman, that dreamer that gave up. Thank you.