One of the most misunderstood parts of being a Christian is God’s LOVING discipline. Early in my faith walk I hated it. Now I ask for it.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
Consider this question and the choice it creates: Would you prefer to have God DISCIPLINE you or IGNORE you? My answer for many years was having him ignore me was better than being disciplined.
But that eventually changed when I saw that God’s discipline is far better than him ignoring me. That it has a purpose. That he uses it to extract the idolatry that permeates my soul. That it generates Christ-like righteousness in my life.
Of course God’s discipline is UNPLEASANT! But so is living in darkness.
As we mature in our faith, God’s discipline produces a pattern of revealing sin EARLY so we can fight back before it gets a foothold. So we can call on God to intervene and interrupt. So we can repent before it fully forms and escalates to an uncomfortable level.
We must remember, especially in the middle of being disciplined by God, that it is a short-term process with a distinct beginning and distinct ending that produces distinct growth. That it reminds us (again) how much we need Jesus and what happens when we drift away from obeying him.
I look at God’s discipline as a pruning cut to strengthen my faith—NOT punishment. God’s punishment comes from his wrath as Judge against sin. His discipline comes from his love as a Father for his children.
God’s discipline can be directly related to a specific sin. But in many cases it is more broadly applied to grow our faith and develop spiritual maturity in our walk with Christ.
We must remember to never take God’s discipline lightly. And we must ignore Satan’s voice when he tries to convince us that our Father is “being too tough.” We must learn to ask God for his loving discipline.
I ask God to make me a good listener to his voice. To help me pay attention when he is trying to get my attention. That I never become complacent in his grace. That he interrupts my comfort and disciplines my heart.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Has God been trying to get your attention lately? Is he trying to discipline you in and through his love? Will you allow it to happen with an open mind and heart?
“They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.” Hebrews 12:10