Discipline can be a tricky subject. Many of us have not seen discipline done well, and no one really loves being disciplined or having something they’ve done wrong pointed out. But something we must keep in mind with our heavenly Father is that he loves perfectly, so discipline must be a part of his perfect love. As we wrap up our week of looking at who God is, this is a crucial topic we have to look at to engage with all the ways God loves us. As we dig deeper today, may our hearts be open to God’s loving perspective on correction for our good.
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12:6
Our world despises discipline. We view correction as an attempt to keep us from doing what we really want rather than an act of love to guide us toward a more abundant life. If we are ever going to live the incredible life God longs to give us, we need renewal in the area of discipline. We must allow God to correct and shape us as the potter molds the clay so that we can live the life to which we have been called.
Our heavenly Father never disciplines out of anger or frustration, but only out of love. Hebrews 12:7-14 says,
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? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 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? 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. 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. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
God longs to establish a foundation of discipline in your relationship with him because he loves you. It’s our pride and lack of revelation that keeps us from allowing God to correct us. If we truly knew the abundant life available to us on the other side of discipline, we would run to the forming hands of our God rather than hiding from them. If we had revelation on the incredible plans God longs to equip us for, we would yearn for the loving correction of our Father rather than withholding the broken places in our hearts from him.
Your heavenly Father has greater plans than you could ever ask or imagine in store if you will allow him to mold and shape you through discipline. He longs to correct every area of your heart that isn’t bearing the fruit of the Spirit or producing abundant life. He longs to provide discipline for your sin so that you can live in the freedom of righteousness.
Open your heart to his loving discipline today. Allow him to mold and fashion you into the likeness of Jesus. Spend time allowing his love to wash you clean and free you from the bonds of sin. May you have a powerful encounter with the loving discipline of your heavenly Father as you enter into guided prayer.
Sometimes the best instruments of correction are fellow believers. Ask the Lord if there is anyone you need to confess your sin to. James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Ask for wisdom from the men and women in your life who are experiencing freedom and abundance in an area in which you have need. May you experience the entire abundant life available to you through the loving discipline of your heavenly Father and the fellow believers he has placed in your midst.
Extended Reading: Hebrews 12 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Hebrews.