Aug 14, 2010

Spiritual Sunday...

Fair warning...God has me working on discipline, never anyone's favorite subject.  So if your a bit squeamish you might want to high tail it out of here right about now...

"And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?  He said, 'My child, don't make light of the LORD's discipline, and don't give up when he corrects you.  For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child."  Hebrews 12:5-6

Oswald Chambers writes, "It is very easy to quench the Spirit; we do it by despising the chastening of the Lord, by fainting when we are rebuked by Him.  If we have only a shallow experience of sanctification, we mistake the shadow for the reality, and when the Spirit of God begins to check, we say-oh, that must be the devil."

That last sentence really got me thinking.  As Christians aren't we quick to say when things go wrong, "Oh, that must be the devil at work".  What Chambers is saying is not to be so quick in that assumption.  First examine your life and your heart...Is this particular hardship in an area of your life that you require discipline in?  Has the Lord been trying to get your attention in more subtle ways and you have chosen not to hear or worse yet have you been ignoring the warnings so long that you are now deaf to Him?

Have you not been paying attention to your marriage, ignoring the warning signs and then blamed someone else when it falls apart...

Have you spent and spent on credit, justifying your purchases and juggling the bills and now the balls are crashing down because of job uncertainty?

Have you been the "cool" mom, being your child's friend instead of parent, allowing more freedom than you should have and now are shocked at their attitude and promiscuity?

Have you gossiped at work or with your girlfriends and now been ostracized and labeled untrustworthy?

Have you ignored changes in your health, not exercising, eating and drinking what you know is not good for you and then been surprised with a diagnosis of diabetes, high blood pressure or achy joints?

Please hear me...

There are some things that happen in life that are totally not our fault, we did nothing to deserve them.  They are just what comes with living in a fallen world. 

Sometimes...

Spouses cheat...
Job's are lost...
Children are prodigals...
People talk...
Illness happens...

Through no fault of our own but just because we live in this foreign land...this sinful world. 

To those, I encourage you with Isaiah 43:1-3,
"But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you.  O Israel, the one who formed you says, "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.  I have called you by name; you are mine.  When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.  When you walk through the fire of oppression you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.  For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..."

The amazing thing about God is that even those of us who ignore God's warnings and require his loving discipline; he is still the same God of Israel...He still calls us by name, we are still his...He still was ransomed for us...and he still wants to use us to further his kingdom...

"No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it's painful!  But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.  So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.  Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong." Hebrews 12:11-12

Change your ways...so that, others who are weak will not fall but become strong!  Don't you love the Word of God. Even when we mess up, we are his, we can begin a new and we can encourage others.

I know this was a very long post...
It was meant to encourage not discourage.
Our God is full of grace and mercy...His forgiveness knows no bounds...
Take a new grip of his powerful hand...he desires to lead you.

Starting anew,
Patty

14 comments:

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Good reminder! I praise God he cares to work on me with such grace and patience. Have a blessed Sunday!
Yvonne

sarah said...

good reminders of His gentle care and support

trish said...

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your post. It touches very close to home for me and my family. I plan on reading it during our Bible devotion this morning, in addition to our study. :o)

Sincerely ~ Tricia

NanaDiana said...

I like the "starting anew" closing. Sometimes we need to listen and reassess and do just that- start anew. Thanks for the beautiful post- Diana

Virginia said...

Thank you for this! I am grateful you posted this, good reminder that many of our problems are created by us .Wonderful word for today...
Sweet Blessings,
Virginia

Saleslady371 said...

Those of us that are parents know that discipline is loving just like the Hebrews verse tells us. Not that it makes it any easier to swallow!

Renee said...

I like these verses in Isaiah 43. It is a comfort to know God will not abandon us in our time of suffering..

Pam said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on God's discipline and grace. He is truly an Awesome God!

Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

What a great post! We all need to think about this.
Blessings,
Ginger

Cindy Adkins said...

What a beautiful post and one I am sure we can all relate to in one way or another...I love how you wrote, "in this foreign land." wow! Wishing you a beautiful day!
Hugs,
Cindy
xo

Charlotte said...

What great insight this post shows. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
Blessings,
Charlotte

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Patty,
Your post is wonderful and filled with wisdom! We serve an awesome God and He loves us and takes care of us even when we make a mistake. Thank you for sharing and thanks for your visit. It's always lovely to hear from you. Have a wonderful week.

Blessings,
Sandi

Gwen said...

Patty, this are such great thoughts and thanks for sharing them. I so agree that we often blame things on satan when in reality God is sanding off the rough edges of our lives. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. You've encouraged me today!

daylily777 said...

Wonderful Post ! Yes, we always need discernment when troubles come . Going before the Lord repenting , asking for his divine insight into our situation . We will find sometimes it is our own sin, or sins of others & sometimes God allows the Devil to have his way for a season(Always for a purpose,but we may not know why until Heaven) But,sometimes it comes directly from His Hand as a chastisement& Sometimes it is just to grow our Faith as we draw nearer to Him.
Blessings,
~Myrna