August 21, 2022




21ST AUGUST, 2022



SERMON TITLE:                Self-Discipline

SERMON TEXT:                  John 16:21

PREACHER:             Reverend Ebenezer Olawuyi



Part of the things we said in the Devotional this morning is that anytime you say, “I don’t know what to do” or “I can’t do it”, you are depending upon yourself. You are saying, “In my capability, I can’t do it”, but God doesn’t want you to depend upon yourself but on the inner presence of the Holy Spirit who says, “I’ll help you”. So, these common words: “I don’t know what to do”, “I can’t do it”, do not say them again. Say, “I can do it because I have a helper inside of me, He is going to teach me what to do.” Anytime you are in any situation or challenge, calm down and listen to your helper. He is not going to do the job for you but He will instruct, guide, teach and tell you specifically how to handle that situation. Don’t follow the world; others may be saying I don’t know what to do, don’t say that. This is the way to walk in faith and the way God works for people. When you begin to say these Words of Faith, God begins to bring light to your spirit.

Yesterday in the house… sometimes you need to preach this same Word to yourself. You need to apply it, if you just preach it and don’t apply, you are like a man looking at himself in the mirror and who immediately forgets what manner of man he is. Yesterday in the house, I was looking for a dress to wear. You know, when you stay in the same room with your wife… women, oh my God! They have all sorts of wardrobes and clothes, God has just blessed them; some men run away from women and say they want to have their own room because of this, don’t make that an excuse, stay there, it’s part of the fun. I was looking for one of my dress and searched everywhere, at a stage, I started accusing my wife that she has packed my cloth together with hers. I went to the same wardrobe and searched nothing less than five times. I kept on packing all the clothes out, asking who came into our room to steal my dress? At a stage, I heard the Holy Spirit say to me that I have not asked Him to help me. Immediately, I kept quiet and said, “I am sorry, Holy Spirit. Please help me, I need this dress”.  After this, I walked to one place and came back, the Holy Spirit told me to go back to that same wardrobe. It was a miracle. I went to that wardrobe and saw the cloth, I didn’t know that I have hung it inside another cloth which covered it. Immediately I saw it, I couldn’t go back to my wife… I just took it and put it on top of the bed and she said, “You see.”

Friends, you’ve got to learn to practicalise the Word of God. You have a helper inside of you, the Holy Spirit is your helper. Don’t say, “I don’t know what to do” or “I can’t do it”, the Holy Spirit will help you. In any challenge you are in, just ask, “Holy Spirit, you are my helper. Please, help me. What do I do in this situation?” He is going to help you. Say: “I will put to work the helper inside of me. I will not ignore him, in any situation I am in or in any challenge that arises. I am going to seek help from my helper, He will help me at the right time.” Say a big amen.

For two, three days now, I have been talking about this because the goal is that I want everyone of us to be conscious of the fact. In those days when we grew up in the church… you know, the church is so holy, there are rails that demarcate the altar so that you can’t go to the altar anyhow, it is kept off from people. I remember one of the challenge i had in ministry then was that i allowed some people who were not ordained as Pastors, who they have not poured oil on to come to the altar to sit down with me. People told me that cannot be, why would I do that? Would I defile the altar? In the days of old, it was like that but not in our days. Jesus already tore the veil from top downwards to open the door and say to you that the days of old when some people were restricted from the holy of holies is gone. Now, god is no longer looking for the Holy of Holies made with hand.

It is good when we are in the presence of God to reverence His presence, we are not careless in Him but be conscious of the fact that the Holy of Holies is not this building, it is ‘you’. You are the Holy of Holies, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in you, you are a carrier of God now. You hear some people say, “Even if I would lie, would it be in the church?” This means that they can lie outside but not in the church. It simply implies that they are not conscious of the fact that their body is the temple of God. They feel that the building is the temple and not their body. Everywhere you go, be conscious of the fact that you are a carrier of God. If you are conscious of that, you will not defile your body because you know God lives in your body and you are the temple of God. We must be God-minded, God-conscious.

You wonder why we read this Bible Verse, are we talking about Pregnant Women Fellowship? Or are we preparing our children for pregnancy in the future? What’s the essence of the woman in sorrow? There are two types of pains: the pains of discipline and the pain of regret. Take one of them, whether pain of discipline or pain of regret but let me tell you this, you have the right to choose anyone you want but you cannot determine the result you will get. If a young person does not pay the price of discipline, he’s going to pay the price of regret, it’s consequential. If you don’t endure discipline, you will endure regret. There is a time to suffer and deprive yourself. In psychology, there is what is called ‘neuro-association’. I am sure you know that neuro has to do with the nervous system. You will ask me a question: why will somebody go on hunger strike for 20 – 30 days and refuse to eat? There are a lot of people protesting against the government in this manner in the western world and they will be begged to eat. Why would a person give himself to that? You know what, that person, although he is suffering has associated the pain with pleasure because of the result he is going to get out of it. There is need for you to pay the price of discipline; if a man doesn’t pay that price, he will have regrets in the time to come.

Examples from the Scriptures

Esau: Remember Esau, what was his problem? He could not endure that hunger. He was hungry and begged his brother, Jacob. Jacob told him they had to negotiate, “Give me your birthright if you want my food.” Esau said, “What is birthright to me? I am dying and you are talking about birthright? Give me food.” He could not hold and discipline himself to wait. You know what happened later on to him? The scripture says in Genesis 27:38, “And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me – me also, O my father!” If you don’t pay the price of discipline now, it’s going to be the price of regret. You will suffer the pain of regret. I am praying for you, “You will not suffer regret.”

In life, there are choices to make: What do I do? Who are to be my friends? Where do I go? Should I watch this TV program or not? Should I say sorry or not? Should I go on watching this movie now? There are times you need to make decisions in life but your decision must be controlled by not just the pain of the moment but what you want to achieve in life; there must be self-discipline. Self-discipline means choosing to do what you necessarily would not want to do because of what you look forward to getting. You don’t need discipline when it is what you love to do. For example, if you want to wake up by 4am to pray, you need discipline. If you want to sleep by 8pm however, you don’t need discipline for that. For what you just want to do easily, you don’t need discipline but for something that your body doesn’t want and yet you want to confront it to achieve your goal in life, you need to discipline your body. The problem of Esau was that he could not suffer the pain of the moment and he suffered the regret.

Self-discipline is also imposing standards and restrictions because of a better alternative that you are aiming at. Standards and restrictions because of a better alternative that you are aiming at. Remember the story of Peter in Matthew 27:36 – 46. Jesus told Peter to watch and pray for three times, but Peter and some of the disciples could not stand it. Jesus went to them and found them sleeping. Jesus told them to be careful but look at what happened to Peter later on in the scripture in Luke 22:62 – “And Peter wept bitterly…” because he refused to endure the pain of discipline to keep himself awake to pray. What happened? He suffered the pain of regret. He would have just endured it at that moment but because he decided to put it off, look at what happened later to him.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, people cast off restraint.” When a person doesn’t have something he is pursuing, he will give up self-control, he will do anything. I want to challenge you, young people, this stage you are in, you’ve got to pay the price of discipline. This is the time to give up some things. This is the time to give up some pleasure. That pain that looks as if it is difficult, associate pleasure to it – neuro-association, which is why the person fasting could continue to fast because what others saw it as pain, he saw it as pleasure. Although he was in pain, that helped him to cope up. What you are going through now is the stage to prepare yourself for your great future. Discipline yourself in every area of your life. Discipline yourself on what books to read, when to read, friends to keep, movies to watch; others may do it, some may laugh at you, but it’s a price you are paying now. When Tobi Amusan was paying the price, I am sure some people would be laughing at her, from secondary school. Today now, she is a star in the world of sports. There is a time for you to pay that price, if you don’t pay it now, it’s going to be regrets. Do you know some of the people pushing wheelbarrows never had such opportunity like you have, no parents to train them but some of them had the same opportunity you have but didn’t endure that discipline and are now suffering for it.

Everyone must make a choice in life – a choice to endure the pain of now because of the future you are looking at. If you don’t endure it now, it’s going to be regret. Self-discipline is just an exchange of your energy and time for something you desire to have. It is the ability to give up the short term for the long term, that was what Esau and Peter could not do. Jesus said, “Do it just for now but sleep could not allow them to do it.” It is terrible when you are supposed to wake up to pray but didn’t. I told you my experience sometimes ago: after returning from Unusual Encounter, I was tired. I had my supper and few minutes later, I went to bed. The hand came upon me and told me to stand up to pray. I was tired and just turned around to say some prayers on the bed. The hand came upon me again and told me to pray, I decided to rise up and went to my prayer room upstairs. As I got there, I knelt down to pray and the hand came upon me again to stand up because I was already dozing. Oh my God! At that point, I decided to stand up and started walking round the room, praying and speaking in tongues. I did it for about 45 minutes and went to sleep. The next morning at the Unusual Encounter program, a lady came to me and said that they came to my house in the night to attack me but couldn’t penetrate because there were two angels standing by the door. Can you imagine if I had not disciplined my body to stand up? It was painful because my eyes were heavy but thank God I did it. This was what happened to Peter, Jesus told them to pray so that they would not enter temptation but they were sleeping. My own was four times, Peter’s was three but thank God I stood up. Can you imagine what would have happend to my life? Some people have become casualties because of lack of self-discipline. Pay the price now, there is a time to run away from what other ladies are running after, “It doesn’t matter what others are doing, I will not give this thing out.” People will laugh at you and call you ‘old school’, pay the price now so that you won’t regret later on.

I met a lady sometimes ago who was in SSS 1. She was stubborn and refused to listen, you know what happened? She became pregnant and then wept like a baby. Because she refused to endure the discipline, she suffered the pain of regret. Sometimes, God will look at you and still have mercy upon you like He did with Peter. When Jesus rose up from the dead, the first person He sent for was Peter, Jesus still brought him back but do you know that there are some journeys of life that you cannot return from? Once you lose it, you lose it forever. An example is Dina in Genesis 34, the Bible says Dina the daughter of Jacob went to see the people of the land. When she did, she was raped. She lost it but couldn’t get it back. You cannot get that virginity back… well, in Christ, you are a new creature, old things have passed away but physically, something has been removed from you. I have a scar in my leg here, I got it when I was a stubborn teenager. Anytime I look at it, I say, “Ah! I have prayed but the scar did not go”. I wish I can just pray for a miracle to happen and the whole place will be smoothened. There are some regrets that God would forgive you but the scar would still be there. The discipline of now will prevent you from the regrets of the years to come. So many were here for the football competition yesterday, where are they today? Be careful who is your friend, be careful who you choose, there are destiny derailers and destiny killers. Careless in your spiritual life because you cannot fast? Pay the price of discipline now, don’t allow the enemy to wreck your beautiful future. Pay the price of choosing your friends, pay the price now so that you won’t regret in the years to come.



Lord, help me to pay the price of discipline – self-imposed standards for restrictions.

God can help you and change the story of your life, if you allow him. He can change the story of your life and give you a brand new beginning. You want to say, Lord Jesus, please help me from today, I need your strength to be able to discipline myself. I have been highly indisciplined but I don’t want to suffer the pain of regret, please help me today, Jesus? Whether you are a teenager, an elderly person… whatever status you have, put your left hand on your chest and say: “My father, I have heard your word, I receive your grace to be disciplined. I receive you, Jesus, into my life as my Lord and Personal Saviour, take over from this moment.” I pray that the Lord will establish you and give you the grace to be disciplined. Amen.

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