4 You have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which reasons with you as with children, “My son, don’t take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; 6 For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.” (WEB)
The discipline of the Lord is something that is not talked about a lot in many Christian circles. And if it is, it is often skewed in a way that portrays God as angry and judgmental. Since my mandate is to tell people about His love, it is not often a topic that I tackle either.
I am always concerned that people will misunderstand God's discipline to be punishment, when that is the furthest thing from the truth. The word 'discipline' shares the same root word as 'disciple' which means to train. There is a very popular Bible verse in Proverbs 22:6 that talks about this kind of training... Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (WEB)
I am not trying to say that the discipline of the Lord is pain-free. Often the only way that we as humans learn is by enrolling in the school of hard knocks. While there are easier and less painful ways to go, sometimes touching a hot stove is the only way that we will really learn that the stove is hot!
My prayer today is that we would all submit to the discipline of the Lord in the times when we need it. I pray that we will not take it lightly or faint when we are reproved by our Father. May we see that we are not being punished, but trained so that we can yield a harvest of righteousness.
May we understand that when we are pruned by our Heavenly Father, it is so that we can be even more fruitful in our lives. (John 15:1-2) And as my friend, Jack Winter used to say... "the Gardener is never closer to the branch then when He is pruning it." May we feel the closeness of our Father even in times of His loving discipline.
But if you are without discipline, of which all have been made partakers, then are you illegitimate, and not children. Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? (WEB)