1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.
(temperate: not too hot or too cold; avoiding behavior that goes beyond what is normal, healthy, or acceptable.)
Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
If there is danger from life being negative and afraid, there is just as much danger from life being over desirous and too assertive. We can be ruled and ruined by undisciplined desire, a wanting to active greatness at any cost. I am not called to be great, I am called to know God and to glorify Him.
Paul said in, 1 Corinthians 6:12, All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Weather something is good or bad, I can’t not let it become more valuable or important to me then God.
There is a way of living which may be likened to the horse that lies down in harness and won’t move; and there is the other way which may be likened to a horse that runs away and breaks the harness and smashes everything. Abundant living has to find the self-control between the two. Jesus call it being meek and said they would “inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) We need to find something between lying down and running away. Abundant living must find the constructive, but disciplined life.
Psalm 55:18, He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me.
Desires are the God-given forces of the personality and as such are right. Without desire life would not be worth living. Buddha tried to make man victorious over the desires of life by cutting the root of desire itself, so that man would go out into desire-less-ness, into Nirvana. But you cannot cure the ills of life by reducing life; you cannot get rid of your headaches by getting rid of your head. The remedy of life is not less life, but more life.
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”(John 10:10) We must have enough inward life to master outer environment and circumstance.
Hebrews calls them the weights—sins which so easily ensnares us. Ephesians calls them fiery darts.
But if life is to be raised, it can only be raised through disciplined desire. The only way to get rid of a desire is to replace it with a Higher desire, or to fasten the already existing desire to Godly desires. Desires are driving forces, and driving forces cannot be taken out of life—they must be redirected through discipline. Godly discipline.
Psalm 69:18, Draw near to my soul, and redeem it; Deliver me because of my enemies.
Now what does Christianity do with this primary urge of self? Does it try to wipe it out and make one selfless? Try to crucify it and make it powerless. The answer to both questions is “No!”
Christianity believes in the self, for the self is God-given and is not given to be cancelled out. In fact God knew you in your mother’s womb. (Jeremiah 1:5)
Matthew 19:19b, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
The self is to be loved, even as the neighbor is to be loved. The self is affirmed and is worthy of love. It is our right and our duty to be the best self we can be. This does not mean to be self- centered, it means to be Christ-centered, because the best you is found in Christ.
1 Peter 5:6, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
Ephesians 5:8-17, For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Walk in the light, flee the darkness, judge yourself, do what is right in the site of God.