The human temple is a marvelous, living machine. The human mind is a powerhouse of potential. But, it is scary to see the place where an undisciplined mind or life will finish its train wreck. The potential for greatness has a perfect balance in its capacity for disaster. All of these possibilities of living are decided in the conference center of the human will. The great capacity of the human brain is at the choice of our will. You can use your mind if you will and, once the will is set, the die is cast.
A sharp shooter is the result of a disciplined will. This individual has set their mind to train and harness themselves until shooting is more instinct than aim. The entire human body becomes tuned into the process. It’s a matter of disciplining the total person for the mastery of that skill. This is equally true of the world of art, the world of communication, the skills of a great physician, or a master athlete. There is no possibility of greatness until there is the presence of discipline. The human will must be harnessed and set for the dream.
God’s kingdom needs men and women that will discipline themselves to Christ with the same abandonment we see given to worldly goals. Read what Apostle Paul said by the Holy Ghost to the believers at Corinth, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (I Corinthians 9:25-27). The picture of discipline in that Christian mastery is breathtaking.
The Holy Spirit is speaking the language of self-control and selflessness towards the Christian life.“Striveth for the mastery” are words of passion to a soul that can dream. The dream here is of surrender and devotion to Jesus Christ and the incorruptible crown that a saint of God can obtain. The key words are “temperate in all things” or self-control. No one can discipline your heart and mind but you. Incarcerated prisoners can be forced to be disciplined through fear and intimidation; but, after a few hours on the street, they are wild again.
King Saul was heads and shoulders above his fellowmen. The Father chose him to be the first king of His people, Israel. When he was anointed, another Spirit came on him and He began to prophecy. Greatness was in his future because the Father had a plan for him. “And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day” (I Samuel 10:9). But King Saul had a core problem. He could not discipline himself under the prophet of God. “And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever” (I Samuel 13:13).
The Bible never hid the failures of many potential success stories. The elder son of Adam and Eve followed in the path of his mother and refused to offer a Biblical sacrifice and became a vagabond. Esau, the elder son of Isaac, was crass and wild. Today, his heirs are the Islamic terrorists. David, who became a “man after God’s own heart,” brought shame on his life that never ended, even in his greatness. Judas Iscariot could have had his name on one of the foundations of New Jerusalem, but “by transgressions fell” (Acts 1:25). Every failure was the result of an undisciplined life. They never lacked in opportunity but they lacked self-control.
When I was saved in 1952, there was great pulpit mastery all over America. I can recall pulpiteers that fed my soul with powerful preaching that set my course to love the Word of God and to master its truths. The greatest drought in America and the church world is the absence of fearless preachers that can storm the gates of Hell. Some of these formerly great men are still alive but have become wimpy and frivolous. Instead of scaring the world, they are now scared by the world. Instead of longing for the mastery of a powerful anointing, they are pursuing the gold and silver of a “Name It, Claim It” gospel. They are train wrecks.
But, all is not lost. The human soul and mind can still be so surrendered and disciplined that Christ can be revealed to this lost generation. Your temple is a marvelous, living machine. Jesus Christ is challenging the present saints to “eat His flesh and drink His blood” until Christ is formed in your life. This is a depth that only the selfless and self-controlled can experience. If you are wild and a law unto yourself, you are close to being a castaway. Your train wreck is right down the sad road of self. The Holy Ghost is calling out to the humble souls that want the dreams of our Master. Believe me, there is no joy like the joy of our whole life being attuned to the deep life of Christ. Like the sharpshooter, when our temple is all surrendered and disciplined, the whole life is disciplined in the love of His will.
Joseph R. Chambers