And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? (Hebrews 12:5-7). Joyful are those you discipline, Lord, those you teach with your instructions (Psalms 94:12 – NLT).
God is the most wonderful Father! He loves us enough to discipline us. I loved my four children enough to discipline them when they were young. They needed the correction that only a parent can give. MY goal as a parent is that by the time my children are out from under my care that they are guided by a conscience tender towards God from within.
God disciplines us for our profit, so that we will become just like Him in holiness. But contrary to religious ideas, God does not chasten with sickness and disease, accidents, poverty, and a host of hurtful things. God is not an abusive parent. We’d send law enforcement after a parent caught breaking a child’s arm or leg to teach him a lesson! But many accuse God of being a child abuser when they say he disciplines us with all these hurtful things.
God disciplines us with His Word. When we get out of line, the Holy Spirit deals with us and removes His peace. He reminds us again and again of the promises of God, and draws us to the Father through the Word. A believer out of line with the Word is under the discipline of the Father. Over and over, the Word challenges, and His presence within woos away from the hurtful thoughts or actions that will bring ruin. Everywhere the disciplined believer turns, he’s reminded of what God says and why He says it.
A word of warning. A person who refuses to listen to God’s discipline will eventually get into trouble, and the kind of trouble that will ruin his life. Look at Judas as an example. He was with Jesus for over three years, and didn’t listen to what he heard as Jesus spoke hundred, maybe thousands of times. His life was cut short by his own hand.
Annanias and Sapphira were around the teaching and preaching of the Word but that word did not get into them (See Acts 5). They lost their lives in the middle of a lie! A young man in Corinth was sleeping with his stepmother. He refused to listen, and lost his health. He had opened the door to sickness by refusing to repent when God dealt with him (See 1 Corinthians 5).
Be warned. When God comes with His gentle, firm, loving discipline, listen to Him. He always has our best interest at heart. God has been speaking to our nation as a whole for many years now. Over and over warnings and admonitions have come to America to repent of our ways. A person or nation that refuses God’s Word to them is a person or nation wide open for judgment!
A believer who doesn’t receive the discipline of the Word is in danger of hardening his conscience toward God, and is in a place where the enemy can deceive. Be careful not to violate conscience. When you do, repent immediately. A believer who will not listen to the Word and to the voice of conscience is eventually left to reap the consequences of his or her wrong choices.
God said to Israel, Choose today whom you will serve, life or death, blessing or cursing. The Father wants us to choose life through obedience to the Word, so that His blessing can be ours to enjoy.
Choose to yield to the discipline of the Father’s Word today. He’s training us in right living, and is pleased when we choose the discipline of His Word. He wants you to have His best!