The Lord has been speaking to me about discipline and real faith. I am beginning to have more understanding of how the two are intertwined. In Proverbs, it says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of the Lord (humility, putting Him first, loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, full reverant submission to the truth of who He is) is the center of our relationship with Him because it ultimately leads to abiding in Love, trusting Him without question in following His commands. I cannot seem to escape Hebrews 12. This chapter has been on my heart and mind for over 4 years, and there is yet still so much to understand!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the Founder (Author) and Perfecter (Finisher) of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“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.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons.… 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. •Hebrews 12:1-12 (ESV)•
In the Greek, the word discipline means to train, instruct, teach, correct, and chastise (purify). As I have been spending time reading over this and praying, I find myself not only asking the Lord to discipline me, but that I would remain in that discipline, walking in His ways and keeping His Word. I have come to realize the lack of His discipline in my own life. In His mercy, He has over and over again kept saying to me, “Just keep coming back to Me.” Did you know that even in this simple thing, it takes discipline to come to Him every day? It takes discipline to keep our eyes on Jesus. His discipline leads us to the strengthening of our faith (our hands and knees) and straightening our path (for our feet) because we allow Him use us in our weakness, to crush us into producing holiness and righteousness. The other passage I can’t seem to get away from is Isaiah 40.
“To whom then will you compare Me, that I should be like him?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of His might, and because He is strong in power, not one is missing.
Why do you say….“My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;they shall walk and not faint. •Isaiah 40:25-31 (ESV)•
I know I’ve used this scripture before, but I encourage you to read the entire chapter and take in the context. The summarization of this passage is essentially that God is on the throne, He has all power and authority, He sees all and knows all, and all we need to do is wait upon Him, come to Him, and He will show Himself strong. Did you know it takes discipline to look at God and declare what is true about Him? Did you know that when you make those declarations, everything changes? Repeating the truth until we believe it. His discipline is not only when He rebukes, corrects, or teaches; it is also about walking daily in that discipline as a son of God, resting and trusting in Him! There is great power waiting to be unlocked within the sons and daughters of the Living God! This passage goes on and on about the greatness of the Lord, of how He is the Creator…NO ONE and NO THING can compare! There is NO ONE like our God! (Psalm 18 is also another chapter that has set my spirit ablaze!)
There is so much out there bombarding our eyes and minds every day. There is so much that is false, deceptive, tantalizing…so much to distract us from the ONE THING (Psalm 27:4). To dwell in His house (abide in His love), gaze on His beauty (see Him for who He is and be transformed in His presence), and inquire of Him (wisdom, revelation, understanding, and declaration). The calling on my life and life of every child of God is to love Him and declare what is true about Him thus changing our hearts, compelling us to love others and change the course of history! Jesus did this very thing!
The discipline of God can be painful and unpleasant, but it restores what is lacking in our faith and leads us to holiness, righteousness, and total trust in His strength alone!
Father, I pray for more of Your discipline my life. When You return, I want to be found faithful in the place of prayer, declaring what is true about You. I want to know You and be found in You. I ask for more grace, more power, for a greater desire to keep my gaze locked on Yours. You are God, Yahweh, the self-existent One. You are the Beginning and You are the End…the Founder and Perfecter of all that is in between. You are the one sitting upon the throne, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and You are our Father! Jesus, I thank you for the victory we have in You. Come and restore what is lacking in our faith! Give us more understanding of how You lead that it would be faith in You alone that compels us forward and not be what we see in the natural. Give us a fire in our hearts for Your Word. Holy Spirit, remind us of truth, of the words of Jesus. Teach us about real faith! Teach us Your ways! Let us be diligent to watch and pray, for our flesh is weak, but our spirits are willing. Let us come to You in holy fear, in humility, keeping You ever before us. I thank You, Father, for Your mercy and for great joy, even in suffering, because we have tasted and we have seen, we know that You are GOOD! Amen!