July 13, 2010
Discipline: Willing Surrender
"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.'" Hebrews 12:5-6 (NLT)
Teaching is my passion.
Besides being a wife and mother, nothing brings me greater joy than teaching and sharing God's Word. Lately I have felt dry, asking the Lord what's next. I was ready for Him to do a new thing…desiring a new message. Well, friends, be careful for what you pray!! Because as I prayed, the Lord drew me to Hebrews 12. It was there He met me and re-introduced me to a word with which I have long been familiar…discipline.
Dictionary.com defines discipline as the rigor or training effect of experience or adversity. My parents disciplined me as a child. With a teenager and a tween, my husband and I find ourselves in a continual process of discipline. But me? I am an adult. I don't need discipline. And who really has the right to discipline me?
Hebrews 12:5-6 discusses just exactly who has the right to discipline me…and you. God. Our Creator. Our Heavenly Father.
I love how the writer of Hebrews 5 begins: "And have you forgotten the encouraging words that God spoke to you as His children?..." God intends for the words that follow to encourage us and not discourage us.
In Hebrews 12:5-6, the writer of Hebrews quotes from Proverbs 3:11-12 which says, "My child, don't reject the Lord's discipline, and don't be upset when He corrects you. For the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights."
This word discipline in the King James translation is "chasteneth," which in the Greek denotes "to train" and is most often used with training up a child. Elsewhere in Scripture it is translated learned or taught, but in Hebrews 12, it refers specifically to the part of training that means infliction of evils and calamities. When I read that, my first thought was surely not, God. But as I continued my study, God's Word helped me understand.
God knows who He created us to be. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you…plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."
God promises in Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them."
God balances these encouraging truths with the reality that we are sinful and selfish creatures. When given the choice, we will choose to please ourselves, serve ourselves, and put ourselves first. God knows to accomplish the plans He has for us, He must burn away that which is selfish and self-centered. He also knows that we will not willingly surrender to this chastisement.
But we all have faults and follies that need to be corrected. And at the time God led me to Hebrews 12, I was in the midst of struggling with those faults and follies. He wanted me to see that I had to walk through His refining fire to burn off all evidence of self in my struggle. Such a hard truth to hear. But the end result, the wonderful truth is that God promises me that when I emerge on the other side of His refining fire, I will be closer to reflecting His image and closer to being the woman He created me to be.
When we look at Hebrews 12:5-6 this way, we should willingly surrender to His discipline. For it is His discipline that assures us we are legitimate, loved children of God. He is treating us as His own. He is preparing us. He is training us. He is transforming us.
Dear Lord, thank you for disciplining me. It is hard to take but I understand it is for my good and Your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Would you be willing to share a time of discipline in your life? Please visit my blog and leave me your story. I will select one comment to receive a copy of i am not, but i know I AM by Louie Giglio.
Enjoy more encouragement with our free Everyday Life article A Well-Pruned Life
Read Deuteronomy 8:2-5. What do these verses say about God's discipline?
Reflect on a time of discipline in your life and journal what God taught you and how it has changed your life.
Hebrews 12:7a, "As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children." (NLT)
Deuteronomy 8:5, "Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good." (NLT)
© 2010 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105