God will discipline! This may be hard to hear, but God will discipline. Now, this should be noted, without exception, that discipline and judgment are two different things, reserved for two different people.
Discipline is reserved for those who are loved by God. Judgment for those who are not saved. These two catagories are vastly different. As we begin, notice what the author of Proverbs says to his son, and to us in Proverbs 3:12.
He was not to dispise the discipline and correction of God. Discipline is that "spanking" as it were. Correction is rebuke. Both can be painful, but necessary on our journey toward eternity. Without these two things, we will find ourselves wandering off the narrow way and path God has set before us.
But some may say God is hateful, vengeful. They follow Jesus who was loving, kind, soft. Those who hold this, hold to two gods, and are sadly mis-reading the Bible. The God of the Old Testament is Jesus. Jesus in the New Testament is God. They are one in the same, but are not. I know this is hard to grasp, but this is part of the Trinity.
Therefore, the same God who said He would destroy entire people because of their sin, is the same Jesus who came to earth to give all a chance to have a way of escape from that judgment.
But when we, who have accepted Jesus, come to the reality of salvation by faith alone through grace alone, we will find that we are moving from death and damnation to life and light. But that means we will be disciplined by God.
What will God discipline? Our sin. I just saw a small video today of a very famous "preacher" who gave his own preverted defintion of sin. He said,
When you sin, you break yourself and others.
Weep for this man. Pray for God to have mercy upon him and that he repents and confesses his sin before God. But do not be decieved or led astray by his doctrine from hell. God will discipline us for our sin. What is the defintion of sin? Sin is when we violate God's holy nature and law. This means, as I explain to little children, sin is anything we do, say, or think that is contrary to God, Who He is, and His Word, the Bible. No, sin is not something that we just, "Make a mistake". We violate God's very nature. Thank God for the sacrificial blood of the Lamb. But that still means we are to be disciplined.
We should not dispise His corrections and discipline. He can do this through several ways. The easiest is through that still small voice that tells us we have stepped onto the wrong path. The hardest way is that Jesus could just take our life. Let us be frank. If we sin, it is an affront to the nature of God, and HE WILL KILL US, if He so chooses. How do I know this?
Acts 5:1-11. Annanias and Saphira lied to the Holy Spirit (the third member of the Trinity) and they both died. Galatians 6:7 should come to our mind. Therefore, the best thing we can do is to allow the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts and minds so we turn from our sinful way and go back to the straight and narrow.
Some may say this is too narrow and how we had interpreted the Bible has been wrong for so long. Our culture is helping us. No. Once again, this is a lie from Satan. We will never break the Bible to conform to our culture or self ideologies. We will be broken upon its pages, or because of its pages. We will bow the knee now in humble submission to God, or we will bow the knee under full wrath and judgment before God
But the author of Proverbs also says this is as a father disciplines his children. We understand this, or at least I hope we do. A father's role is to discipline and correct. I see many "grown-ups" in our society and politics and cannot help but to think they should have been disciplined a lot more. A father should discipline his child because it shows he loves his child.
This false notion that discipline is equal to evil, is to deny truth. A father does not discipline because he hates his son but because he loves him. A father who allows his son to play with boiling water on a stove is not loving. Or what about the father that allows his son to play in the streets? That is not loving. Loving is to discipline, which does include spanking as needed.
God does the same thing. It is not loving to allow a child, or in this case those who are saved, to live and act how they wish just because they want to, it feels good, or culture says it is ok. God will discipline.
This gives us great encouragement then when we come to Proverbs 3:11. The call is to not dispise or hate the correction. First, if we are corrected, it means we are loved. Second, it means we are being shown how to live so we can please our Lord and Savior.
That should be what we all, who are called Christians, should desire. That means if we wish to please God, we should rejoice that He is willing to discipline us so we can be made into His image, not our own image of what we think.
This means we will change. John Stonestreet, in speaking about J. Gresham Machen's work, "Christianity and Liberalism" says about the contrast that Mr. Machen presents,
If your god-however you define him, her, it or they-never demands change, then your god is you.
The God we as a Chrisitan serve, demands changes in our lives. What we were, did, went, associated with, everything is forced to change. In a manual for a chaplain, I read this quote
How do we know we have been saved? We will change. If we see no change, we have not accepted Jesus.
Failure to do that, after we accept Jesus means that we either did not get saved, or we are bound for some major discipline from God.
I pray that all who are reading this do not dispise the discipline, chastening and correction of God. Instead, allow Him to change us so we can be who He wants us to be and not what we think we should be.
Then we will please God and find His love, peace, hope, joy....if we do not dispise His discipline.