I have always been the kind of person who was lead by Shakespeare's famous line "To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." from his Hamlet masterpiece... I have always believed to be brutally honest to myself as well as others and never deny myself the cravings of my heart.. but that was before I decided to serve the Lord.. I then came into the great understanding that although I may have the liberty to do anything that I choose... discipline is always required. I have now surmised for someone of great position and leadership with the possession of both discipline and obedience to God, you will be able to address all of your problems. Either you will choose not to engage in sinful behavior or simply obey God's word, but either way... you win. Now I have come to this assumption after observing so many humans, and the ways they try to circumvent God's instruction for life. You will find that people always take action with motives in place, instead of disciplining themselves or being obedient.. For instance in marriage, you will find that many people marry for all types of reasons: love,sex, financial & political gain, companionship, religion, to have children just to name a few. The irony with those that have married for improper motives is whatever you were hoping to gain from your manipulated marriage will be the one area that you will lack until you discipline yourself. People also do scandalous things to acquire money.... and often times they end up misusing their ill gotten gains or loosing it altogether. I used to believe that if I felt like doing something that I should.. that in some cases I could not overcome my desires, and I assumed that becoming a Christian would alleviate these struggles, however becoming a true Christian simply provides you the tools to control yourself... not too completely strip your world of the things that tempt you. At times you may (as I have) find yourself in a place where you wish to do something but you KNOW God does not condone it and this is where you apply obedience. For instance, if you happen to be interested in the homosexual lifestyle, but you love and admonish you Lord, you can consult your word and find out that God does not approve such behavior.. at that point.... if doing God's will supersedes doing your own... you can choose to obey over your own wishes... In some cases God is testing you.... in others he wants you to avoid the issue all together. A prime example of this is in Gen: 22. Such is the story of Abraham and his beloved son, Issac. Now if you are not familiar with Abraham story let me catch you up to speed. Abraham and his wife Sarah were promised to have a child in their youth, and did not bear a son until they were in their 90's. This son was named Issac and Abraham cherished him so.... IN Gen 22 God instructs Abraham to take his son up on the mountain to make a sacrifice Along the way it is revealed to Abraham that Issac is to be the sacrifice. Abraham proceeds to tie his son down to a and place the wood for sacrifice... Now if you can only imagine what giving your only son up for sacrifice meant.... Surely so many thoughts were going through his head, however he chose to OBEY over questioning.... What happened next was wonderful, and I'm sure Abraham was so relieved.......
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God,because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself,declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b]all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”
SO in closing..... you will see just as God delivered for Abraham & Issac, he can deliver for you. Often we feel that we do not have the strength to turn away from sin habits that we love.. apply discipline in these areas.... and once you are lead to do God's will.... apply obedience.. its a WIN WIN combination.. AMEN!!!!!!!