After a passage that I liked, I now have to write about one which I’m afraid I don’t have all the answers for. I will try and explain this passage as best as I understand it, but I don’t fully understand, not do I think do any of us. In any event, this is probably not a passage that we will naturally gravitate to, especially those (like myself) who see God as a good, loving God. OK, here we go.
Discipline. Ouch, we don’t like that. Have you noticed how the word disciple, is similar to discipline? I don’t think that is a coincidence. The first half of chapter 12 talks about God disciplining us. What do you think this means? Well, let’s take a look at earthly discipline first. My parents disciplined me, in fact by today’s standards, they may have been in trouble. Fortunately back then, people understood just how important it was to be disciplined, not like today where we just do what we like. I am so glad that my parents disciplined me, and I don’t regret it at all. Having said this, regardless of what governments and ‘experts’ have to say, there is a difference between DISCIPLINE and ABUSE. My parents disciplined me, they did not abuse me. Why did they discipline me? To put me on the right track. They knew what results sin would bring, so they did their best to keep me from it. They disciplined in love, not to hurt me. They had a ‘this hurts me more than it hurts you’ mentality (although on occasions I would disagree with them).
This is like God’s discipline. It is because He loves us, He wants to keep us from sin, because He knows where sin will lead us. He does not abuse us. Illness is not a punishment from God. I just wanted to make that clear, as I have heard that taught. Yes it may be as a result of sin, and maybe we need to repent of a sin (give it up and change our ways), but we still have authority over that illness. Let’s look at a simple example, if you smoke and you get lung cancer, you can still come and ask me to minister healing. If you do though, don’t be surprised if I tell you to quit smoking. If you refuse, I may too. Now there is something that I am not sure of, I won’t say that God GIVES you lung cancer if you smoke, rather God tells you not to smoke because He doesn’t want you to get lung cancer. If you do get it from smoking, God may USE that to get you to stop. Now I realise that smoking is the least of our worries, but I wanted to make it clear that God doesn’t abuse us, His punishment is good. Personally I think that God’s ‘punishment’ is nudging us in the right direction, not making us suffer, but I don’t want to limit God to what I think. I also don’t want to attribute anything bad as ‘punishment from God’, as that is just not true. The bottom line. Stay away from sin. Root it out of your life. It can only result in ‘Godly discipline’ or the devil having inroads into our lives, and quite honestly, I would like to avoid them both. Especially the second.
The second half of this passage is about listening to God. I think that this is a given, as we need to listen to God, as a child should listen to their parents. If God is who He says He is, why would we not listen to Him? Do you read the Word of God? Do you change your life to fall in line with the Word? Do you root out sin? Do you follow the lead of the Holy Spirit? If not, I seriously suggest that you do. I think if we completely understood what sin does to us, and we completely understand what Jesus went through to save us, we would hate sin just as much as God does.
What are your views on God’s discipline? I’m still trying to get my head around how He would discipline. What are your thoughts? Please leave any comments below.
Until next time.