Divine Discipline

Hebrews 12:5-11

And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?[a] He said, “My child,[b] 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.”[c] 

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?[d]

10 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. 11 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.

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Confession #1: I really dislike having to discipline our children- especially now that they are older. When they were toddlers it was much easier for me to say “no!” and then pop their little hand or hiney if they disobeyed. Occasionally they would cry, but moments later, their tears would dry up and they’d be happy little children again, treating me like the GREATEST MOMMY IN THE WORLD!!!

As they’ve approached their formative and adolescent years their character has continued to be molded and refined by life experiences. Frequently, they are faced with the difficult task of choosing to assert their own will, or crucify their flesh, submitting to the authority of their parents. When they choose to succumb to their sinful nature & make a foolish decision, they suffer the consequences.  Now, when punishment is handed out, I rarely get a quick cry and rapid re-instatement of MOM of the YEAR. Instead, I may receive the silent treatment or the angry eye or they may withdraw their affection from me for what feels like an eternity. Rejection from anyone is painful- but when it comes from the heart of your child, the negative feelings it evokes can sometimes be unbearable. Yet, Gods truth still stands, and if I love them, I must discipline them.

Proverbs 13:24

24 Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.
Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

Confession #2: I really dislike being disciplined by God. As I reflect back on my toddler years in the Lord, He was gentle in His punishment; a little pop on the hand and a firm “no!” But as I’ve grown and attempted time and time again to assert my own will, I’ve often suffered greater consequences of my disobedience. None is more painful than the silent treatment that I have established between us as a result of my pride.  When heaven is silent, I begin thinking…. “does He still love me?”

Confession #3: After 15 years of following Him, my mind is still trying to convince my heart that everything He does (or doesn’t do) is because He loves me with a supernatural, pure, righteous, death defying love. His blessings are a tangible evidence of it and so is His divine discipline.

And so, I must continue to crucify my flesh in order to submit to His authority over my life AND I must continue to love, train and discipline each of our children when they disobey. For I know, the plans He has for me- and them- are good and one day, there will be a peaceful harvest of right living in all of our lives!

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