“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of His reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” –Proverbs3:11-12
I had a conversation recently with a kind, older woman. “I don’t go to the doctor,” she explained to me with her finger pointed downward, “I just know he’ll find something wrong with me!”
Our sinful flesh has the natural tendency to cover our shame and hide from God (Genesis3:8). We’re afraid of God, we’re ashamed before His holiness, and we don’t want to be exposed as sinful and experience His painful discipline.
In certain seasons of our life, we want to avoid God and His reproof. We despise it! So, we avoid in-depth Bible study, we avoid church services, we avoid prayer and reading God’s Word. Just like avoiding the doctor, we avoid God.
God does not cause our sin; He does not move us away from sin to settle for holiness. His discipline is for our joy and our good. The Father delights in His children, you and me! Sin is settling for lesser pleasures. There is no greater pleasure than delighting in God. So, we must have humility to be exposed before God, ready for His discipline. He will shepherd us from the dangers of sin and to enjoy Him.
The Christian life is not a one-time discipline from God, but a lifetime discipline from God. So the proverb says, “do not…be weary of His reproof.” We are commanded to love our God with all our heart, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37). Out of His delight for you, God is actively disciplining you to hold each thought, desire, and action captive to love Him.
This proverb tells us, “The Lord reproved whom He loves…” This is encouraging. Let those words soak into your heart! God doesn’t discipline us from wrathful disgust of us. We deserve that, but that’s been taken from us! Jesus has taken the punishment we deserve, and we are healed by His wounds (Isaiah 53:5, I Peter2:24).
As the Son in whom God delights, Christ took God’s full punishment for our sin (Matthew3:17). Disciples of Jesus are not disciplined by God to appease Him. In Christ we are already pleasing to God! He disciplines us in His love for us to enjoy Him more! God delights in disciplining us to increase our joy! My beloved flock, desire His discipline that you may move from lesser joys to enjoy God more fully.
Heavenly Father, You are good and kind to us, Your children, to discipline us to enjoy You more. Increase our joy in You through Christ Jesus who bore our punishment of Your terrible wrath and has given us life eternal and pleasures everlasting. Amen.