Correction from God
Last night as I taught the youth group from Proverbs 3 we talked about correction/discipline from God. I cross-referenced Hebrews 12 which also talks about it. In both cases we are told not to despise it, but to embrace it, because it is the mark of His love for us and of our adoption as His children. In fact it says it is of a Father who delights in His children, and the absence of it is a mark of illegitimacy, that we are not His.
So often we can chafe against anything that keeps us from following our own ways and wants, and if we aren't careful we can see God's correction that way. We might even see it as punishment, but that is not the case because Christ bore the chastisement for our sins. It is correction, discipline, and it is for a reason:
For they [earthly fathers] 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. (Heb 12:10-11 ESV)If we see it as punishment we might be tempted to say, "Well, I'm already being punished, might as well do what I want anyway." But if we see it as correction, and a mark of God's love, we can rejoice in it, and we can see that submitting to it (the sooner the better) is the best we can do. The very nature of correction implies it is for a purpose and it is lifted when its purpose is accomplished. I used the example of car wrecks I've been on in the fire department—if a car starts to drift toward the shoulder we "correct" our steering to get back on course. If we "over correct" we can cross lanes or flip our car. Correction is for a purpose, and when the purpose is met we stop.
Might it bless us as Christians to see God's correction through these "glasses"! God's correction is:
1. Evidence of His tremendous love for us and delight in us.
2. For a purpose, and the sooner we submit to it the easier it will be, and the sooner it will be lifted.
That is an ugly word for most of us. Who wants to depend on anyone or anything? We want to control our lives and be "king" of our lives!
This morning in my quiet time I was thinking of all the things I am completely dependent on God for—health, rain to fill our water table and to bring us the grass we need, finances, His Spirit over the fellowship I pastor, etc. I was in that place where there were multiple things heavy and worrisome on my heart, and I had to confess to Him that I was (and am) totally dependent on Him.
Then it struck me anew what I'd said, "I am totally dependent on HIM!" Him, who breathes out stars! Him, who loved me before the foundation of the earth! Him who is not caught off guard by anything that happens in my life or around me! Him who measures the universe with the span of His hands! Him who died on a cross so He could adopt me as His son and live in relationship with me for all of eternity! Him who said He'd never leave or forsake me! Him who said to be anxious for nothing!
Through those "glasses" being dependent is a really, really good thing—because He is far more capable than I am to handle them!
Blessings to you all! Thanks for reading and sharing in my life and thoughts. May you have a wonderful Valentines Day and weekend. —Erick