The Cross and Sanctification by T.A. Hegre
Because most of our temptations are addressed to the body, its control is absolutely necessary. Since the devil cannot directly touch the soul's inner relationship to God, he spends most of his time attacking the outer man, the house in which we live. Therefore this outer man must be kept under control and bear a daily cross. The Apostle Paul, speaking of control of the body, says,
1 Corinthians 9:23-27
"Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you. 24 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. 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." (NKJV)
The real need in the human life is not only that we need to be cleansed from all sin bu that also that we need things back into God's order- making the body to be the servant rather than the master. So many have confessed that their prayer life is not what it ought to be and are trying to do something about it. Their only time for real prayer is in the mornings, for their days are so full. But though rising early for several days in succession is comparatively easy, yet soon all kinds of reasonings advise staying in bed for a few minutes longer- such as, "It was late last night" ; or "I was extra tired"; or "I did not sleep well." So because the body has been allowed to dictate, the eyes close again; prayer is forgotten. The body must not have that position. One version translates "buffet my body" "beat black and blue". I must keep my body in control, the spirit ruling, the body obeying and not ruling.