The Concluding Part: What Happens When God Chastises You (Part 3)

So far, we’ve shared that God doesn’t use evil to chastise His Children.

How then does God chastise us?

Good question.

The common scripture used in explaining this is found in Hebrews 12:5-7,

“…My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: 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?”

In the course of studying this topic, I made an interesting discovery by the Holy Spirit. You know, in the original Greek in which the New Testament was written, the word translated ‘chastisement’, as used in Hebrews 12:5-7, literally means, ‘tutorage’, ‘education’, or ‘training’!

Wow! I wonder what this would do to many people’s theology.

So, we can see that ‘chastisement’ doesn’t even mean that God is busy inflicting you with pain, sickness, poverty and so on for the majority of your Christian walk!

Biblically, when God is chastising you, it simply means that He’s educating, tutoring and training you!

Isn’t that liberating?

You see, as a believer, you have the Holy Spirit of God residing right in your spirit man. Hence, you have access to the Mind of Christ at any given time (1 Corinthians 2:12, 16).

As a result, God doesn’t have to use external factors to communicate His Will to you. Rather, as a believer, He speaks to you in your heart.

Let me share a personal experience:

During my one-year mandatory Youth Service, I had an ‘intense discussion’ with a brother over a doctrinal matter. In the heat of the moment, I told the brother that he was religious, but not spiritual. As soon as those words left my lips, I didn’t hear God’s audible voice rebuking me for yelling at that brother. Neither did God strike me with blindness or cause me to be sacked from my place of work.

Instead, I perceived in my heart that it wasn’t God’s Will for me to speak to my brother in the manner that I did. In fact, I was restless in my spirit until I apologized to the brother for the way I addressed him.

Would you believe it if I told you that the entire process was God chastising me?

Well, that was God chastising me – tutoring, training and teaching me to walk the way Jesus walked. It was easy for God to do this with me because I have His Spirit resident within me. This, of course, is also related to the fact that I had also been exposed to the Word of God, which “…is profitable…for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

As believers, the LORD is going to use His Word to chastise us. His Words are Spirit (John 6:63) and the Holy Spirit is committed to reminding us of God’s Word (John 16:13-15) when we are in danger of missing the mark!

It’s very liberating to realize that God would never chastise us with pain, sickness and poverty.

It’s even more liberating to know that God is madly in love with you and He’s ever ready to teach, train and tutor us on how to walk like Christ per time.

With this at the back of our minds, it makes perfect sense to heed the advice contained in Hebrews 12:5,

“…despise not thou the chastening of the Lord…”

God loves you and He wants you to manifest the life of Christ!

When you’re armed with that understanding, you can resist the lies of the devil; you can actively kick out sickness and lack out of your life; and most importantly, you have the right perspective about the chastening of the Lord – allowing it have its perfect work in you!

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What Happens When God Chastises You (Part 2)

In sequel to the analogy of the bruised disobedient child that I shared in the previous post, I still have a few more points to bring to your attention.

You know, while the parent is wiping his child’s bruises with disinfectant-soaked cotton wool, the child may feel that the parent is punishing him for his disobedience, right?

However, in actual sense, the parent is actually trying to prevent the child’s wound from being infected because of the love the parent has for the child!

What if the child had been obedient, would he have experienced the pain of the disinfectant on his bruised skin?

No!

Conversely, is the parent applying the disinfectant to teach the child sense?

No!

This analogy would help us to better understand what happens when God chastises us. The truth is that, when it comes to chastising His Children, there would be no need for chastening if you don’t step out of God’s Will in the first place!

In our walk with God, we will experience certain pains that we perceive are caused by our disobedience to Him. However, I also believe that God is able to use any situation we find ourselves for our good.

Remember Romans 8:28?

“All things walk together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose”

Now, was it God that placed us in the unpalatable situations we find ourselves, especially when we are walking in disobedience?

NO!

But can He use the situation to our advantage?

YES, Absolutely!

A friend shared the story of a pastor who lost touch with God and got caught in the web of religion. The pastor eventually broke down physically due to his gruelsome schedule. On his sickbed, the pastor realized that he needed to get it right with the Father once more, and he was restored.

Great story.

Surprisingly, many people would try to explain that the pastor’s sickness was inflicted by God. Perhaps, God was chastising the man for neglecting Him!

Really?

Of course not!

The sickness came because the man wasn’t operating under God’s Grace. The man became exposed to the devil’s attacks because his schedule was choking him up!

God is everywhere, but His Presence isn’t manifested everywhere. Whenever you step out of where God has vetted with His Presence per time, you leave the covering of His Grace and you’re exposed to the fiery darts of the enemy!

However, God remains faithful, in spite of our faithlessness and unfaithfulness. God was able to use that sickness to the man’s advantage. The eyes of man’s understanding was opened to the fact that his walk with The Father was more important than his work for The Father.

Until you receive a revelation that God has poured all his wrath on Jesus on the cross, you’d keep on living with the expectancy of evil in your life;

Until you receive the revelation that the Father doesn’t use sickness and lack to chastise his children, you’d continue to put yourself in a position where you’d be open to the devil’s attacks.

If you believe that God uses sickness and poverty and calamity to chastise you, you won’t resist them and cast them out in Jesus’ Name. Instead, you’d just sit back and take every rubbish that the devil throws at your path – all in the name of receiving God’s chastisement!

God doesn’t use sickness, poverty and death to chastise His Children – you need to understand that!

TO BE CONTINUED IN THE CONCLUDING PART…

What Happens When God Chastises You (Part 1)

Let’s assume for a moment that you have a child that you told to stay indoors while you quickly went out to fix an outing later in the day. Let’s also assume that you’ve provided everything imaginable – food, toys, power supply, games, and so on – just for the comfort of the child. All you just want the child to do is to remain indoors while you went out to prepare for a splendid day for the two of you.

Suppose the child gets out of the house and one thing leads to another and he ends up getting injured and badly bruised, what would be your first reaction be when you see your child wounded outside the house?

Would you fold your arms and laugh at your child’s bad state?

Would you tell him something like, ‘I hope you’ve learnt your lesson’?

Really, I don’t expect you to react that way.

I suppose that majority of parents (and prospective parents) would pick the child up, clean him and dress his wounds.

While we are not ignorant of the fact that there are some parents that would fold their arms and mock their children, that would be the exception, rather than the rule.

No normal parent would derive pleasure from his/her ward’s pains.

Don’t forget, we were created in God’s Image and Likeness and it’s very possible to deduce some aspects of God’s Nature from our actions.

So, if an imperfect human parent won’t derive joy from his/her child’s pain, do you really believe that the Perfect God would derive joy from inflicting diseases, sicknesses and calamities on His erring children, just to teach them sense?

The answer is ‘No’. It’s simply not consistent with His Nature!

God will never use calamity, diseases, pestilences or death to chastise or teach us a lesson. Every good and perfect gift is from God (James 1:17) and God is the Master at doing good (Psalms 85:12). The Good God would never use bad evil to try us (James 1:13). That picture is totally discordant with His Nature. It’s just not Who He is!

I remember sharing this with a friend who replied,

“Promise, people are so used to seeing Jesus as the Lamb. They’ve forgotten that He’s the Lion of the tribe of Judah”

Yes and Amen! I agree.

However, if you’re trying to use that truth to buttress your position that the Father (in His Lionlike wrath) would use sickness and calamity to chastise and teach you sense…then, we must have messed up our theology at some point.

Now, someone may be wondering why the Israelites were judged with pestilence and disasters in the Old Testament.

Good question.

In the Old Testament, God’s wrath was revealed fully against man, because his spirit was dead and he couldn’t decipher the effects that sin was having on him. Hence, in the Old Covenant, the only way God could make man understand His displeasure with sin was to reveal His wrath against sin fully!

However, in the New Testament, particularly after the death and resurrection of Christ, God is no longer angry with mankind!

Why?

Simple. ALL wrath has been poured on Christ at Calvary.

Romans 5:9 says,

“Much more then, being now justified by His Blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him”

We are saved from wrath because Jesus Christ has appeased the wrath of the Father on the cross by His Blood!

Consider Isaiah 53:10-11,

“It pleased the LORD to bruise Him. He shall see the travail of His Soul and be satisfied…”

God is not pouring His anger on Mankind – that anger has been appeased by the suffering on Christ on the cross.

TO BE CONTINUED…

The Priority List

There was a time I needed to forward the manuscript of my forthcoming book to a highly respected role model. Getting her phone number was pretty straightforward, so was getting her email address.

After attaching my manuscript to a short email and sending it, you can imagine my surprise the next day when my role model told me that she didn’t receive the mail.

I resent the mail. Three times.

That was the point that I discerned that my recipient had a kind of ‘Prioritizing Software’. You see, that application controlled the flow of emails into my recipient’s inbox in order of priority.

My point is this: There was no way my recipient would see the email I sent until she tweaked her settings to place mails from me on the high priority list.

Now, this revelation got me meditating.

Could there really be a spiritual ‘Prioritizing Application’ that regulates the time it takes for us to receive the manifestations of our prayer requests?

Matthew 7:7 says,

‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’

Yet, it is obvious that many believers are asking, seeking and knocking, without seeing the desired manifestations.

The reason?

In the order of the kingdom, God’s Word has the highest priority level!

In so many different aspects of the Bible, you’d find out the premium that is placed on the Word is very high. So high that God’s ranks His Word above His Name (Psalms 138:2). And just in case you’ve forgotten, everything created is subject to the Name of Jesus. Yet, God prefers you standing on His Word rather than you religiously shouting Jesus’ Name seven times while praying!!!

Yet, when many pray, they do not pray Word-based prayers. James 4:3 explains better,

‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts’

Whenever you pray selfish, lust-based prayers, they are all heard by God. He recieves them. The prayer gets before the throne of grace!

But such prayers are ranked very low in terms of Kingdom priorities.

On the other hand, if you want your prayer to be ranked high on Heaven’s priority lists, all you have to do is to find out what God has to say about your situation, and let that form the basis of your prayers.

Instead of you praying, ‘Father, please make me prosperous, rich and famous, in Jesus’ Name’…you can personalize Psalms 92:12 by saying, ‘I shall florish like a palm tree. I shall be fruitful and prosperous in anything I lay my hands to do. I shall fulfil purpose. Everything that God has put into me shall manifest. In Jesus’ Name I’ve prayed’.

I’ve come to realize that the entire world was created by God’s Words and is held in place by the integrity of His Word (Hebrews 1:3).

God’s Word is laced with integrity and the day He says something He doesn’t mean, the whole world would self-destruct!

When you use God’s Word to pray, you are sure of seeing the manifestations of your desired results. God’s Words are infallable and prayers laced with His Words are fail-proof!

Are you in a tight scenario where you need God to come through?

Get into the Word, and get into God’s high priority list as you pray God’s perspective about your situation into manifestation.

The Word At Quantum Level

During the course of the Christmas break last year, my fascination with quantum mechanics took a quantum leap.

For the uninitiated, quantum mechanics is a branch of physics that deals with the nature of matter at subatomic levels. ‘Subatomic’ implying sizes that are billions of times smaller than that of invisible atoms and electrons.

The funny thing is that I never really cared about Physics at any point in my life prior to December last year. I had always considered the subject kind of vague and abstract and it never seemed to interest me.

However, that changed last year when I was reminded of a concept of quantum mechanics referred to as the ‘Wave-Particle Duality of Matter’. In simple terms, it means that at quantum levels, matter can either exist as a wave or a particle, but not as both at the same time.

You see, whenever the subatomic components of matter is manifested as a wave, it is actually a probability pattern of where the subatomic component is most likely to be found. To get this idea, let’s assume that I am holding a ball which I intend to put into one of 10 square boxes in front of me. Now, while the ball is still in my hand, all the boxes have an equal chance of being picked, despite the fact that none of them physically has the ball in them. In the same way, at subatomic levels, matter exists simply as a wave of probability or potential of where it would most likely be found.

The whole story suddenly changes when an observer decides to observe this wave of probability/potential, because the subatomic matter would crystallize to form a particle at the exact point that was observed!!!

Now, I’m fully aware that some of you would roll your eyes and call this hogwash.

It’s not! All I’ve shared with you is practical science, with results that have been repeated in the labs, time and time again!

How then does all these relate to the Word?

Good question!

Hebrews 4:12 says, ‘For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword…’

The Word of God is a Living Force, full of unimaginable amounts of Life, Power, Wisdom, Direction, Understanding and Insights. However, just as in the Wave Property of Matter in Quantum Mechanics, that Direction, Power, Wisdom, Life or Insight that you need per time only exists in the form of potential that cannot be of any benefit to you….

…unless you observe it!

In the same way a wave would crystallize to form a particle wherever the observer looks, the Word you need to turn your life around for the better would crystallize anywhere you observe in the Word.

2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that ALL Scripture is inspired by God. This implies that every single part of the Bible – including the ‘boring parts’ and the genealogies – is backed up by God’s Inspiration and Power. Every single page of the Bible has the power to change your life…if only you’d pick it up and read!

It’s so simple. It’s so profound.

Are you looking for a Word from God? Perhaps you’re waiting for another person to speak into your life, while you have your Bible under your armpit. Awake and stir yourself up. Take responsibility for your life and get your Bible. Observe the pages of the Word, and watch spiritual possibilities crystallizing into the physical realities you desire to see in your life!