God has always been a Father!
God is pro fatherhood! Fatherhood in His Kingdom is a level of maturity, not merely a male who impregnates a woman.
God has always been a personal trainer!
Kingdom fathers and personal trainers believe in discipline. Fathers and personal trainers know that undisciplined people rarely achieve greatness or fulfill their potential. Fathers and personal trainers “push” people beyond what they believe they can achieve and beyond where they are, and they help them see that there is a price to pay to get where they are going and that price is well worth paying.
There is a heavenly clarion call being trumpeted by apostolic and prophetic voices calling their tribal people home – into communities [common unities] where fatherhood is valued over denominational truth [their denomination’s version of truth] – and where true father’s are disciplined and exercise discipline as compared to quasi-father’s who just want to be friends and have “fun”.
Fun is such an overused word in the Kingdom of God!
Hear the words of the writer of Hebrews as you read this text from Hebrews 12:5-17 NLT ~~~~
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, ‘My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.’ 6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. 14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.”
V5 – “Have you forgotten the ENCOURAGING words God spoke to you as His children?”
- The writer then quotes Proverbs 3:11,12 – “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord DISCIPLINES those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.
It is interesting to me that the writer of Hebrews use the phrase “encouraging words” to describe the discipline of the Lord. This tells me that discipline involves injecting courage into [in courage or put courage in] the hearts and minds of those who ‘receive’ correction.
V6 – “For The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one he accepts as His child.”
- Discipline and punishment are equated with love and acceptance. You don’t hear that taught in most pulpits today!
V7 – “Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by a father?”
- The writer expresses surprise that anyone would consider not being disciplined by their father!
V8 – “If God does not discipline you . . . it means you ARE illegitimate and not REALLY His children at ALL.”
- One of the signs that we are truly God’s child is we accept discipline. If we run from and refuse to receive discipline it is an indication that we are not related to God. Rebellion is associated with witchcraft! Witchcraft is an expression of the core value of the prince of darkness.
One of the contemptible issues in our modern Christian churches is leaders who refuse to exercise discipline in regard to unruly members. There are so many churches to choose from and there are too many leaders willing to accept people into their community for the sake of having seats filled and bank accounts with plenty of money in them.
“Christians” will migrate to places where they can have “fun” and “enjoy” the benefits of the community without truly being connected or committed to the community. The “fun loving” Christians feel entitled to the benefits without the responsibility to those in authority.
V10 – “For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best the knew how.”
- Our earthly fathers may be natural or spiritual. They represent God’s delegated authority in our lives. Human fathers, even in their imperfect attempts to bring correction, do what they think is best for us. This is not speaking of the obvious abusive fathers that some have had in their lives. Abuse is never to be tolerated by anyone on any level.
We are to honor those in authority over us, whether in the home, at work or in church. We demonstrate respect for God in the way we respect those God has placed us under in life. We may not agree with everything they do or say but we are not responsible for what they do or say. We are responsible for treating them with the same respect we treat God Himself. No real respect for God’s leaders shows no real respect for God.
Jesus said on judgment day we would give an account for how we treated the poor and the imprisoned. “Inasmuch as you did it to them you did it to Me.”
How much more will be be held accountable for the way we treated those in authority?
V10 – “God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we may share in His holiness.”
- Holiness, or separation to God for His holy purposes lived out through us is connected to discipline.
V11 – “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”
- Discipline is NOT fun! How about that for all you who think that God is only interested in you having fun? “It IS painful!” But the result of discipline is a harvest of right living for those who are trained by it. The Greek word trained is ‘gymnazo’. According to Thayer’s Dictionary of New Testament Words it means:
- to exercise naked [in a palaestra or school of athletics]
- to exercise vigorously, in any way, either the body or the mind
It comes from a root word that means to be stripped, or laid bare. Seems like the Lord’s training regimen is thorough and is meant to expose every flaw we have in our life.
This is the same word the writer of Hebrews uses in chapter five verse 14 to speak of the mature in Christ. Maturity requires discipline and discipline must be applied personally by the individual and individually by the Lord.
ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?
V12 – “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.”
- Get a grip! Reevaluate your position concerning God’s purpose for your life. Take personal responsibility for your inability to handle what God’s dealing are with you and your inability to walk it out in a way that is honorable.
V13 – “Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”
- Straighten up! Do you not realize your inconsistencies are adversely affecting the walk of other people?
- Your walk should help others not hinder them!
V14 – “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.”
- Stop causing trouble! Do your homework as it relates to being holy! If you don’t, the Lord will know it and will not allow you to see Him!
V15 – “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
- You are not in this by yourself. You are responsible to others and for others. The way you relate to people affects your access to God’s grace [His divine ability]. Your negative attitude toward others is poisoning you and corrupting others because you have negated the grace of God in your own life. How is that working out for you?
V16-17 – “Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.”
- What will it profit you if you get your way but lose everything God predetermined for your destiny?
Keep THE Faith! Keep THE Passion!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin