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.” ~ Hebrews 12:5-6
Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. ~ Job 5:17
Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. ~ Hebrews 12:10-11
Scripture makes known to us our Heavenly Father’s intention to discipline all his children as an expression of his love for us. By all accounts it seems that discipline ever lies between us and holiness; whatever measure of personal holiness we have yet to attain, we shall reach it through the path of discipline.
It has been my thought that if it is his holiness we are after, it will come through receiving his discipline. Self discipline leads to self-righteousness, God’s discipline leads us to the humble holiness he delights to see in us.
God alone knows the fullness of joy that accompanies personal holiness, and it is his incredible love for his children that causes him to take up the rod of discipline and with it lead us into that joy. He seeks our holiness because he seeks our happiness, and not the brand the world offers mind you. This happiness is invincible.
We ought to consider this deeply. To see the Rod of the Lord is to see his father heart for us his children. I believe each son and daughter is uniquely special to the Heavenly Father, and his Rod is uniquely crafted and wielded for each of them.
It is quarter after 3 in the morning, and my wife and I have been up since 1am with Graeme (our 1 year old). We’ve gone down the list: not sick, not teething, not scared, not hungry, not thirsty… still he won’t settle and sleep. Now we can attribute this to any number of things, and some of them may even be legitimate causes for a son that won’t sleep tonight. But there is only one interpretation of tonight that I can embrace with my whole heart: this is the Rod of the Lord.
Tonight we received his discipline. Tonight he has come to move us along in the way of holiness. Tonight he has looked upon us in love, and in his great wisdom he has chosen a rod that was made just for us, and he has wielded it perfectly on our behalf. He is truly extravagant toward us!
Seeing the rod of the Lord in your circumstances makes it possible for us to give thanks to God in all things. It helps us to see how special and specific his love is for us, how uniquely he sees us. He uses the Rod so wonderfully, so skilfully, so perfectly! Just for me! Oh how he must love me! His intimate knowledge of us can be seen in each and every stroke, if we wish to see it.
We should choose to see the Rod; to look for it, and to love it wherever we find it. It shouldn’t be hard to find, for God’s word tells us repeatedly that the rod is real and that the rod is there, disciplining us; sometimes heavy, sometimes light, always constant, always effective, and always wielded to perfection in sovereign, omnipotent hand of the Father whose love never fails us.
He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. ~ Proverbs 13:24
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent ~ Revelation 3:19
May there be no wasted strokes!