This is a second version of my other article God’s Discipline. This is the original conversation I had with God about discipline before He began revealing to me the scriptures in context. If you are wondering about my views on discipline, I would recommend reading that article first. This article brings in the raw conversation I had with Him beforehand.
As always, I don’t always hear everything correct, so please give me grace from times I mishear God’s voice.
Tell me about discipline God? How do you discipline? When do you discipline?
“How does righteousness come?”
Through the spirit as a gift.
“What is a harvest of righteousness?”
Many good works?
“Righteousness is given through faith. It is faith to believe God. In times of discipline, faith is released to trust God.”
What about, God disciplines us for our good that we may share in his holiness?
“It means I ask you to endure for my sake and not give up. In the face of persecution, I am the one asking that you hold onto your faith. I detest persecution, but it will come on those who follow me, and my will is that they endure it for my sake and receive their reward.”
Wow, thanks. What does it mean to share in his holiness?
“It means to be my people, to be defined by God and his kingdom, to represent him. Those to persevere proclaim the kingdom through their deeds and win the hearts of many. This is why the early martyrs were so effective at changing a nation. Their holiness was seen by all and persecution brought it out.”
What about the verse, he disciplines us for our good?
“There is immense reward for those who endure trial and persecution. Their faith is well rewarded.”
What about the verse, ‘when the Lord punishes you’?
“Your chastisement for your sins has been laid upon Christ. But there is a chastisement that comes because of righteousness. The world is offended at the free gift of righteousness. When I chastise my children, I am asking them to trust me even in the midst of trouble and pain.”
So I shouldn’t look at this verse as you punish my sins?
“I don’t. Your sins have been adequately punished. Now endure temptation for my sake. I will keep you strong in your faith and see you to the end. Don’t let trouble separate you from me.”
Are you saying I could be separated from you?
“Nothing will ever separate us from the love of Christ. I am saying to hold onto your belief, your hope, and your faith and not falter regarding the promise. (Let your faith be of benefit to you).”
So your discipline is asking us to endure trials, temptations, and persecution for your sake and the sake of the gospel?
“And to trust me in it. But I don’t cause them. If you are being pushed by a current downstream, I am the voice that asks you to hold onto that rock a little longer.”
Wow! Thanks so much for clarifying!
Tell me again, what does it mean, ‘when he punishes you’ and why does that verse sound like you are punishing your children?
“Its an old testament reference. They were punished to keep the covenant. You however are under a different covenant and the punishment you receive is simply my willingness for you to trust, follow, hope, and endure persecution for my sake.”
Wow, thanks again.
That doesn’t make much sense that you punishing us is asking us to endure temptation because of the gospel.
“And what does make sense?”
That you train me not to sin.
“You are thinking of punishment in an old covenant context. The law had punishments prescribed to it. On what basis would I punish you under the new covenant?”
Because of the good works you asked us to do?
“Are those good works law?”
“Then they are not being counted against you. Discipline in a new testament context is to hold onto you confidence even when that very confidence is causing you trouble and pain. Because of my word you suffer wrath.”
So in a sense you are creating it because it is because of the word you gave us that we are being persecuted.
“That’s a good way to think about it. It is as you say.”
What about ‘you discipline’ and ‘you are treating us as children’?
“I am treating you as a son, by asking you to follow me. Those who are not my sons, I do not ask to follow.”
Is it saying you choose not to deliver us out?
“It means you will face trouble, which I deliver you out of all. Why do you need to strengthen your feeble knees?”
Because you are coming to save.
“I am going to save.”
It doesn’t make sense. How can your discipline be asking you to hold on?
“Because you are suffering for it.”
And you cause it?
“I am pleased when my children endure for my sake, but I do not enjoy watching them suffer. You ask if I cause it. Why would I cause my children suffering?”
To give them reward?
“I can do that through my son. When a child endures opposition, he proves that he is my son and I glorify him. Discipline in a new covenant context is not based off of the law as you have been taught. It is based on faith. My discipline is asking you to remain with me in the face of suffering.”