"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
Ever wonder why 75% of the church body admits to participating in unsavory acts, even secular people would consider sinful? If we truly consider ourselves Christian, then we should consider ourselves to be the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and as such if we sin we submit the body and blood of Jesus to sin when we stray from the path.
Staying on the path with Jesus requires us to be self aware and self disciplined in order to be self controlled and obey God, His word and commandments. Without self control we will always remain on the broad road that leads to destruction, rather than the path that lead to life bearing fruit with God.
The Biblical Command Of Self Awareness
"How many are my iniquities and sins? Make known to me my rebellion and my sin" Job 13:23
Interestingly, and frighteningly, enough is that we are not aware of our sinful behavior. Job realizing this amidst great calamity cried out to God to make Him aware of all his sins. No doubt he was seeking to repent and make peace with God.
Today very few Christians humbly live in repentance for the multitude of daily transgressions. When you really get down to it, even a single thought, no matter how small, that is not generated in the likeness of God, and His word, is opposed to God's nature, and that is darkness or sin.
There are those who live a monastic life, especially the Orthodox Christian, who solely focus on daily repentance and worship. After many years of disciple, they radiate with divine love, joy, and peace. Constant reflection of sin leads to self awareness, and self awareness combined with the intent to change leads to freedom and holiness.
This is what the Bible says about examining ourselves and being self aware.
I considered my ways And turned my feet to Your testimonies.
'For after I turned back, I repented; And after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh; I was ashamed and also humiliated Because I bore the reproach of my youth.'
Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD.
1 Corinthians 11:28
But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
2 Corinthians 13:5
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Realistically, examining ourselves and comparing every though, emotion, word, and action to God should mortify us enough to cause the death of the self (carnal/ego). (Luke 9:23, John 12:24)
Examining ourselves and presenting ourselves to God as dead through the mortification of the carnal self is the sacrifice God deems acceptable as spiritual service worthy of His perfect Spirit. (Romans 12: 1 - 2)
The Consequence Of Unawareness
"When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"; And You forgave the guilt of my sin." Selah.
Not examining ourselves and becoming self aware will cause the genes in your body to break down and cause sickness, disease, lack of energy, and stress. Conversely, becoming fully aware of any, and all, sin and confessing to God causes forgiveness and restoration from God.
Once we become constantly self aware we can begin to adopt God's word and the commandments of Jesus as the new patterns of our mind. Being mentally transformed and obedient to the word of Jesus makes us more honorable to receive the body and blood of Jesus.
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:19
The Biblical Command Of Self Discipline
The intent to change is married to self discipline. Change cannot exist unless self discipline is noticeably present. Intent is desire, self discipline is desire in action, and the result is emergence of the Christ self accompanied with divine love, joy, wisdom, and peace.
This is what the Bible says about self discipline:
1 Timothy 4:7
Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim.
"If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
'I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
These verses point out one important fact. It is up to us to remain holy and righteous, not God. God eternally dispenses holiness, but it is up to us to train our heart, soul, mind, and body in the ways of God so we may receive God's holiness more aptly, and that requires self discipline.
The straight and narrow path of a disciplined life by God's word and commandments will inevitably lead to God's flow of eternal life within. (John 14:21 and 14:23) And His increased presence within us will lead to behavioral and spiritual changes making mind and flesh obedient to God.
Amazingly, scientist have discovered that practicing even the simplest type of meditation allows a person to become more self observant, self disciplined, and take steps toward self change.
Christian Meditation And The Way Of Obedience
In 1976 the American Psychological Association published a report which concluded that rehabilitative and preventive benefits may be gained from meditative practices. This was just the beginning. In 1999 a newer study demonstrated and confirmed that a simple mindfulness meditation technique of bodily self awareness decreased binge eating in obese people by more than 50%. And in a 2010 experiment involving loving-kindness meditation it was proved that it can successfully helped people improve mood and build personal psychological resiliency.
My question to you is, who is more Christian, a non Christian who has control over their spirit and conduct themselves with love, remember God is love, or a Christian who is involved with unsavory websites, drugs, and adultery (75% of the church)?
The true answer of course is the person who has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and then follows the word and commandment of Jesus. The question highlights our purity and our willingness to pursue a life of purity which begins with self awareness, then proceeds to self discipline by the word and commandments of Jesus, which finally leads us to holiness.
Since science has proved that behavior changes by calm breathing and reflection of oneself, we can safely assume that science once again has proven God's wisdom and love in the creation of the human body. It proves God's wisdom because we needed the capacity to change any behavior deemed inappropriate. God designed this capacity with our DNA, which can be triggered by simply calming ourselves and reflecting.
It proves God love because the capacity to change brings us closer to Him, where we reap the highest rewards, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Now imagine what would happen if by meditation we were to change the way we think (Romans 12:2) and reflect God's word in thought (John 14:21 and 23).
Practicing meditation by reflecting on our sins and shortcomings, then humbly asking for forgiveness, submitting ourselves to God, while conducting a daily discipline of study, is how we make heart, soul, mind, and body obedient to God. It is the way of a divine relationship with God.
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