“The believer is called to walk in humble tenderness and watchfulness, let in anything, even the least, conscience should accuse him for not having done what he knew to be right, or done what was not of faith..” – Andrew Murray , “The Spirit of Christ
Today I’m freshly reminded at how painful, yet good the disicipline of The Lord IS. Not only was I the one doing the discipline, I was BEING disciplined, something I realized hadn’t happened in a while.
Let me explain.
This past week my heart turned from God to other things- motivitating me to tiptoe, step and sometimes jump over the line of conviction. These were moments of going against my conscience, and justifying the small sins (which lead to bigger ones) . The things I was doing were sins because they were against my conscience. Each act of was an act of selfishness, and I knew it.
Psalm 5 reminded me though of some very important truths.
“But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bown down toward your holy temple in fear of you……(vs. 7) But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.”
The Lord whispered to me as I read…”The Lord disciplines those he loves…”(Hebrews 12:5). I continued to read…
3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,
13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.
17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
While reading this the Holy Spirit spoke to me two questions:
1) When was the last time you were disciplined by your Father?
2) Did you repent?
I didn’t remember the last time I was disciplined. It wasn’t for the lack of doing wrong etc., and I knew that wasn’t the point of the question. The question was an arrow pointed at my heart asking me, when I had quieted and humbled myself long enough to receive discipline from The Lord- I knew that my proud heart kept me from receving the discipline that would grow in me holiness and ‘heal’ me. I had not repented (though I had grieved what I had done).
So at my kitchen table, in the quiet (and very cold) house I bowed my head and repented of The Lord.
“Oh Lord, thank you for your forgiveness, your discipline and your fatherly Love. I know that any consequences and discipline I receive are only partial, as you have taken the full penalty of my sin upon the cross. Lord thank you for your patience and love towards me, and loving me by discipling me- so that I may become more and more like you. “