Another huge key to attaining spiritual growth and maturity is discipline. Both accepting God’s discipline, and showing self-discipline. Firstly, it is important to understand why God disciplines us through the Holy Spirit’s conviction.
Hebrews 12:10-11 NIV says, “They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
In Revelation 3:19, the Lord lets us know that He disciplines us and rebukes us because He loves us, so we should be honest and repent. So, I urge you to be sensitive to the Spirit of the Lord that urges you to go back and apologize to your brother after a fight, or even put the shopping cart back straight, because through these seemingly insignificant acts, the Lord is developing within you maturity through your obedience, and He is producing within you a harvest of righteousness and peace.
Along with accepting His discipline, growth has taken a lot of self-discipline on my part. The dictionary defines self-discipline as “the ability to control one's feelings and overcome one's weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it”. Self-discipline is the grit and the drive it takes to turn around and apologize after that fight with a sibling, or to put that cart back straight. For me, it has taken a lot of self discipline to take the time to be in the presence of God instead of watching more Netflix. I’m sure you’ve got similar situations in your life.
2 Timothy 1:7 says that “the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
Isn’t that so comforting? Self-discipline IS OURS! God, in His mercy, implemented in us self-discipline. In times where you’re struggling to obey the Holy Spirit, it’s important to speak to that laziness and apathy, and declare that in Jesus Christ you’ve been given self-discipline. Even though it’s called self-discipline, the Lord is still faithful to be there for you through weakness and temptation, and He hears when you cry to Him. So, in this
time at home, I pray that you would take up self-discipline, and eagerly pursue maturity and everything God has for you, leaning on Him and His promises to you through it all.