Tag Archives: discipline

Monologue: A Clear Conscience | 11/13/2022

In case you missed it, it was a beautiful day. This morning there was frost on the rooftops and green grass, a warm glow pierced through the cold making everything sparkle as though Edward from Twilight were on the scene in everything.

Laura (my wife) was still asleep; I went to our spot, the Place Unexpected, and sat on a bench to enjoy the mood of the morning.

Nathan posing for an epic pic of the morning mood

I’ve been thinking about how to “upload” what is “downloaded” in my heart and mind. I feel like at this present time my conscience is clear and in the process of being cleansed; cleansed from all the dust and muck that “hidden” sin leaves behind after every “item” is moved out. That reminds me of biblical verses vital to my present state:

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

— Matthew (12:43-45)

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

— Luke (11:24-26)

In both the gospel of Matthew and Luke, Jesus warns how the unclean spirit goes of a man—in this case myself—and travels through dry places until the spirit returns finding my conscience clear and clean, then goes out to bring with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, making my next state worse than it was prior. I take responsibility for allowing what is unclean and against Christ in me.

As the Holy Spirit works to cleanse the dust and muck from within me, I must discipline myself as the apostle Paul said, “I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. 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. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” And this writing is me showing up to do just that, discipline my body!

UNTIL NEXT TIME – LORD WILLING TOMORROW

COUNT THE COST

There was a time… a time when I transitioned from a site supervising security officer to an engineer of a 14-story class double “AA” office tower that required knowledge around high end M&E (Mechanical and Electrical) equipment to manage through SCADA systems alongside my chief engineer. These machines were the power of the Tower, everything was programmed to turn on and off at specific times: lights on, air moving, water flowing, and doors secure.

The environment was damn near perfect for any and all the fortune 500 companies. A fortress of success and cutting edge technology… What could go wrong? As long as the condition was perfect my job was humbly making keys, eliminating odors from p-traps, painting, changing ceiling tiles, etc. And it was during that time as an engineer I became inspired by an idea. I decided to start a ministry called “Salvational Engineering” where I would pick up trash around our little place in the hood. 

The idea was to prune the ministry by hitting every neighboring’ hood encompassed around mine—and you wouldn’t believe some of the things I found as trash, or actually… you just might!

So while that was in the making, a friend of mine invited me to help him on a move. I thought it was just me helping a friend; I tried to refuse payment, but he insisted on paying me for the hard work. And it was HARD work! Moving is no joke!

Then the friend called me again for a move, then again, again, and again. As this became something of a normal thing I saw the potential my friend had to do something about this moving thing and planted the idea of him starting a moving company; to which if he did, I’d be his right hand. Next thing I know we’re free falling, quitting our careers to pursue this entrepreneurial thing; it was grind time, everything changed! Salvational Engineering quickly faded into the background and eventually was set aside for an unexpected future resurrection.

At this junction the risk became surreal when my friend and I didn’t get that expected direct deposit into our accounts. We had to get side jobs to stay afloat: stained fences, landscaped – from planting flowers to cutting down trees – and then beating up rich people… ask Fred! (I’m joking). The business grew and grew, beyond our expectations, it was amazing to see how God took care of us at every turn, overcoming every obstacle. My wife was able to quit her job for us to focus on making them babies, but then… guess what happened! I’d later get terminated due to a story for another time…

Nathan preparing to recruit and my “conscience” (wife) interrupting 😂.

I know, the suspense will kill but long story short; we’d worked out our problem with another christian brother because after all we’re members of the same body in Christ. I was invited to come back as part of the Swan Moving Services team but had decided that continuing on that journey wasn’t worth the potential destruction of our friendship.

The principle that was crucial for me to understand before anything and everything else was that as believers I belonged to Christ before the business, relationship, and especially my own soul! I am going to teach you what that means and how to meet that principle as the story continues. Remember the machines that keep the power in the Tower; we function like machines, and the power in our “Tower’s” is the Spirit of God if the Spirit of Christ dwells in us (Romans 8).

James 3:1

“Do not become teachers in large numbers, my brothers, since you know that we who are teachers will incur a stricter judgment.”

I have a responsibility, especially in the trouble of today, to be humble before the Holy Spirit as He helps me navigate from the sin of past experiences to the discipline of our heavenly Father. I have believed and am believing with enduring faith in trials and temptations of this present evil age, humbled to suffer in the name of Jesus Christ as a son of God. Discipline hurts but produces the trait of humility and fruit of righteousness which is of heavenly value through Jesus Christ exalted as head over all.

So there I was, free to do whatever again…


READ NEXT

CHANGE – MUCH MORE THAN AN IDEA

…get a job, have a family—4 to 7 kids should be enough—was my plan before graduating High School. That was 14 years ago. Much has changed—to say the least, and while there’s much more to that story I can’t go back to change anything, nor should I try or pray to. Because where I am now is my opportunity at Change. And being that I consider myself a brother to those of faith in Christ am considering how many might be looking back or even forward pining at what is not reality or truth.

So here we are at time and opportunity to change our way of emotion and logic to organize the reality about us in faith that God hears the yearning of our hearts for truth in love that is real.

These questions of – What might be the change my readers desire for themselves? Where are they around the globe that I might understand their situation, their circumstances limiting their potential at being heard, admired, and encouraged to press on for the joy set before them the individual as well as us collectively—the whole? – concern for the fellow male and female (Man) are but shadows in the dark. Heart warming, yes, but far from faith in the Heart of God.

The true change hoped for right now—not when this is published, but right now, at the time of your reading—is the grace of God experienced by those yet to have salvation. Because there is no greater treasure than to serve the entrance into the kingdom of God…for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you—2 Peter 1:11.

And so what is this change? I ask.

As a person who died in sin, I testify, belief in who Jesus is – is the change that procures promised salvation; and yet, as a person of faith to be alive, I testify, not without suffering. The evidence of change is the experience of spiritual discipline wrought by God through the Holy Spirit in the believing soul.

Can you, reader, articulate the testimony experienced by spiritual discipline in your change from the old self to … new?

In Love.

Nathan