He whispered: “I love you strongly. I know you don’t want Me to tell you things about you but I must, or else, how can you live?”
God will faithfully put His finger on our inward follies and tell us what must go from our life. He will bluntly, yet tenderly reveal what we’ve allowed to inhabit us previously to His salvation and declare that He’ll not permit such darkness to abide in us any longer – He must pluck it up and out, for it will only be to our destruction if given room.
But who can enjoy when such truth about themselves is presented to them?
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous. Hebrews 12:11
It is a trying, wearying process when undergoing Holy Spirit’s refining touch; hearing of our inward faults and being shown of our blunders is no easy thing to endure. In being honest with ourselves, we entirely cringe when He points things out to us and wallow in the most discouraging thoughts when such raw truth is revealed about us.
Now I know that there is a horrid stance of defiance that many give towards God’s discipline; this can be the attitude of one’s heart, yes, but it is not what I’m referring to here. The particular weariness that I’m speaking about is the one that comes when true believers experience discipline from God; this kind is not a pride towards Him, but such brokenness over their sin that they despair when He personally exposes it to them.
Hebrews 12 illustrates this, as the author instructs believers not to faint when they are rebuked by Him (verse 5).
That inward fainting occurs in believers who strongly love the Lord and are dead set on obeying Him. In fact, I believe that those consistently seeking God are the ones who keel over the strongest when shown of their erroneous ways. Why? Because God is so near to them. They adore Him and cannot bear to see their King’s frown – they break at the thought of having caused Him displeasure! When corrected of their faults (as we are ever being refined into the image of Jesus Christ), it seems an impossible burden to bear before His face.
I do not believe God ever wants His people to lose this contrite heart over sin. However, I believe He desperately wants such weary souls to be encouraged that His discipline for them comes from the passionate love He has for them! He wants His children to trust that His rebukes are out of His deep care for them, that He might ensure that they walk in the way of Life (Prov. 6:23), and partake in His holiness. This is why we shouldn’t ever despise the Lord’s discipline, and why we should all the more be encouraged when He does it – we are God’s children and deeply loved by Him!
But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Heb. 12:8-10
When we truly know the Father and are confident in His unfailing love for us, we’ll crave His reproofs – we’ll learn we can’t live without them! The more we seek Him, the more we’ll understand that beside Him, we don’t know of our wrongs – we don’t know what’s really in our hearts. Therefore, His Spirit will cause us to beseech Him to search us and expose any secret sin we may have (Ps. 19:12). We’ll yearn for His refining fire to touch us daily, as our desire is to please Him with a pure heart and have His life.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps. 139:23-24
And He faithfully will (He must!). He loves us so very much and will no doubt show us the Way through His discipline.
Your word is a lamp to my feet. And a light to my path. Ps. 119:105
If you’re facing God’s discipline right now, don’t despair. Rejoice that you’re His child! When He brings something in you to light, graciously submit to His conviction and thank Him that you are loved so dearly! Praise Him for His kindness in correcting you, and worship Him for His faithfulness in leading you into greater depths of holiness, intimacy, and life in Him!