Missing the Feast for a Bite of Porridge
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it…. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. ~ The Encourager, in Hebrews 12
Oh beloved, it is true. After the victories will come the testing. Don’t think that they won’t.
A powerful witness will be followed by the taunts of the enemy.
A period of purity will be followed by an onslaught of curves.
A portion of victory will be followed by the opportunity for failure.
Don’t buy into it. The devil wants you to believe you are a failure, but G_d is using it to show you how much Power He has brought into your life.
So, in the moment of testing after the moment of victory, we have the opportunity to grow further – or to fall back into failure. And while the failure is tempting, the price is enormous.
This fool of a writer often goes on a bit longer in these entries, but that is not necessary here.
Hopefully, the question is obvious. Will we be made better by testing, or will we allow it to make us bitter?
However, what may not be so obvious is that the option to go bitter carries with it risks that are much deeper than we can imagine. In allowing the discipline of G_d to miss its effect, we take on the mantel of the same kind of pride that damned the liar who is tempting us now. And in allowing the enemy to get a foothold, we can lose a lot of ground in our walk Home.
Thankfully, there is the other option. In allowing ourselves to suffer the growth inherent in the discipline of following Him, we take on more of His likeness. We begin to see that it is all worth it. We begin to care less and less for any other option than Him. In finding this approach, we come into an even deeper peace with Him – and our actions begin to look more and more like His.
So, are you struggling after a victory? Are you tensing under the discipline of the L_RD? Good. But, make the right choice here beloved. Tonight is your night. Time to choose suffering in His Presence over a bit of selfish pleasure apart from Him. – Makala Doulos is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is serving with his family in China. Email him at Makala@ps1611.org
Think About This: To ignore, repress, or dismiss our feelings is to fail to listen to the stirrings of the Spirit within our emotional life. Jesus listened. In John’s Gospel we are told that Jesus was moved with the deepest emotions (11:33)… The gospel portrait of the beloved Child of Abba is that of a man exquisitely attuned to His emotions and uninhibited in expressing them. The Son of Man did not scorn of reject feelings as fickle and unreliable. They were sensitive antennae to which He listened carefully and through which He perceived the will of His Father for congruent speech and action. ~Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Psalm 31:20