“And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as His children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as He does all of His children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really His children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in His holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” Hebrews 12:5-11 NLT
“Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good.” Deuteronomy 8:5 NLT
Bruce Wilkerson calls discipline “the best good news we didn’t want to hear.” Lol but isn’t that what some parents tell their children before disciplining them for bad behavior.:“ it’s going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you-” What?! But as parents we know that children raised without discipline is a form of child abuse. Allowing a child to do whatever he or she wants is not caring for or loving that child. Discipline in whatever form it takes is a good deterrent to bad behavior. I didn’t say abuse, there’s a difference.
The writer of Hebrews, who I’m convinced is the apostle Paul, shares the truth about discipline, it’s not pleasant, but necessary. Without it, we won’t know what pleases or displeases our parents. When discipline is applied lovingly, the child won’t rebel but will submit to the correction even though it’s painful. No one knows us better than our Heavenly Father. He’s sharing the secret to good godly parenting, using our earthly parenting as a way to help us understand and appreciate heaven’s perspective. He says as parents we do the best we can with limited knowledge of what’s best, but He, all wisdom, all knowledge, the One whose breath we breathe, disciplines our spirit, the real us, so we can enjoy eternal life with Him.
He wants us to share in His holiness. We were disciplined by sinful parents. But now as children of God, He steps in where our parents were limited. Their best efforts couldn’t make us holy, righteous or acceptable to a Holy God. Yes, most of us turned out alright, we’re good citizens, we were obedient for the most part, but we were eternally lost. Our parents tried to beat “hell” out of us, but we just went deeper. Once we became born again, we’re now under God’s jurisdiction. He knows what needs to be done to make us fully His. When we continue in sin as His child, He will lovingly apply His discipline.
If you’ve never been chastened by the Lord, I applaud your perfection. Please share your secret with us. I’ve been chastened enough times to know, I don’t like it and I do everything to avoid it. I’ve learned to repent quickly, and walk in obedience. But I don’t ever want to get to the place where I live in open rebellion, and despise His chastening. For every time He’s had to straighten me out, I’ve learned and grown from it. That’s His intention. You may be asking, how does He chasten us? I’ll share David’s experience with you.
“When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. ”Psalms 32:3-4 NLT
Ahem… feeling disconcerting about the decision you made to… even though you felt in your heart that it wasn’t the right thing to do?
Did you get that sickening feeling in your gut when you lied, gossiped, cheated or were harsh to someone? You can’t sleep, can’t eat, nothing is enjoyable. You’re weighted down by guilt. The Holy Spirit keeps saying repent, the enemy says if you do, you’ll be ridiculed. Your peace is gone. You try praying but the words don’t flow as freely as before, you try singing the words are like gravel in your mouth. You’re being chastened. The feeling won’t lift unless you repent and do what the Holy Spirit is prompting you to do.
You haven’t lost your salvation. You’re still His child. But, He wants you to be Holy as He is Holy, and desires that you be fruitful in every area of your life. I’ve been where David was. I had to confess my sin, repent and ask forgiveness from the people I had wronged. Nothing doing until that’s done. He will give you no rest until you do it His way. When you yield to the discipline and obey Him, your peace returns, your joy and fellowship with Him and your fellow man returns and Romans 8:1 becomes your mantra. There is therefore “now” the minute you walk in obedience, no condemnation.
I’ve had to apologize to my child, one time I yelled at her in front of her peers while on vacation. The Holy Spirit checked me, told me it was uncalled for and that I should apologize because she was hurt. I huffed, but if I wanted to enjoy the rest of the vacation I had to obey, so I did. Believe me He knows how to discipline, it hurts. When, as children of God, we habitually practice sin, and refuse to repent, He will allow us to be embarrassed. He will eventually expose the sin if we rebel against His chastening. God will only expose us publicly if we despise His chastening privately.
If you are being chastened or disciplined, rejoice, you are being treated as a son or daughter of His. He only chastens those He loves. He doesn’t go around disciplining other people’s children. That’s reserved for His kids. And read the last line about what the discipline produces. A peaceful harvest of right living, for those who are willing to go through the training. Are you willing to submit to our Father’s discipline? It’s not pleasant but it’s worth it. He’s not mean or harsh. His discipline does not come in the form of calamity or diseases. The discipline is to build up not tear down, that’s what Satan does to his followers. Our Father is good! He only gives good gifts. James 1:17
Jesus said the Father prunes those who are submitted to Him, so that we can bear more or much fruit. John 15. Be willing to go through the process. If you’re being disciplined, you have the ability to shorten or lengthen the time. Deal with the sin He has exposed, confess it and be restored. He’s wanting to love you back to life. Remember, He only chastens/disciplines, those He loves.
“Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.”1 John 3:9 NLT
Loving Father, Even your discipline I’ve grown to appreciate, because it tells of Your love for me. Amen
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit