By Pastor David Speas
Hebrews 12:6-7 - For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
From an early age, I was taught the need for a holy heart. I knew from both experience and teaching that salvation didn't take away my unChristlike attitudes and desire (just as my family). Oh, I had a desire to please God. But I still had a tension in my heart. Even after salvation, I wanted to talk back to my parents. Even after salvation, I wanted to fight with my younger brother. Even after salvation, I wanted to blame my sister for things I'd done. God had forgiven my sins; but He hadn't completely changed my heart.
I'm thankful that one day I did surrender every part of myself to His Lordship and He did give me victory over these areas of my life. But somewhere along the way, I picked up the notion that messed me up for several years.
I thought that sanctification (being purified by God's Holy Spirit) meant I would never mess up again.
Imagine my confusion when, from time to time, I slipped up. Guilt would flood my heart as I realized my sin. I would immediately repent. But the remorse always lingered. I would feel like a failure knowing I had let down God. Then one day God revealed this truth:
God only disciplined people He loves.
If God didn't care about me, He would just let me go on in my sin. That guilt that I hated so much was actually a sign of His love. Think of it! God loves us so much that He disciplines us--because change and victory are possible. He disciplines us b/c He has a richer, fuller, free-er life that He wants us to experience.
What had been a discouragement turned into a blessing!
Don't get me wrong, I still don't like being disciplined. But now I know He does it from a heart of love. Allow God to discipline you when necessary and don't fight it. Instead, realize, it's coming from a heart of love!