Discipline: Willing Surrender
Wendy Blight

"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. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.'" Hebrews 12:5-6 (NLT)

Teaching is my passion.

Besides being a wife and mother, nothing brings me greater joy than teaching and sharing God's Word. Lately I have felt dry, asking the Lord what's next. I was ready for Him to do a new thing…desiring a new message. Well, friends, be careful for what you pray!! Because as I prayed, the Lord drew me to Hebrews 12. It was there He met me and re-introduced me to a word with which I have long been familiar…discipline.


Dictionary.com defines discipline as the rigor or training effect of experience or adversity. My parents disciplined me as a child. With a teenager and a tween, my husband and I find ourselves in a continual process of discipline. But me? I am an adult. I don't need discipline. And who really has the right to discipline me?

Hebrews 12:5-6 discusses just exactly who has the right to discipline me…and you. God. Our Creator. Our Heavenly Father.

I love how the writer of Hebrews 5 begins: "And have you forgotten the encouraging words that God spoke to you as His children?..." God intends for the words that follow to encourage us and not discourage us.

In Hebrews 12:5-6, the writer of Hebrews quotes from Proverbs 3:11-12 which says, "My child, don't reject the Lord's discipline, and don't be upset when He corrects you. For the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights."

This word discipline in the King James translation is "chasteneth," which in the Greek denotes "to train" and is most often used with training up a child.

Elsewhere in Scripture it is translated learned or taught, but in Hebrews 12, it refers specifically to the part of training that means infliction of evils and calamities. When I read that, my first thought was surely not, God. But as I continued my study, God's Word helped me understand.

God knows who He created us to be. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you…plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

God promises in Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them."

God balances these encouraging truths with the reality that we are sinful and selfish creatures. When given the choice, we will choose to please ourselves, serve ourselves, and put ourselves first. God knows to accomplish the plans He has for us, He must burn away that which is selfish and self-centered. He also knows that we will not willingly surrender to this chastisement.

But we all have faults and follies that need to be corrected. And at the time God led me to Hebrews 12, I was in the midst of struggling with those faults and follies. He wanted me to see that I had to walk through His refining fire to burn off all evidence of self in my struggle. Such a hard truth to hear. But the end result, the wonderful truth is that God promises me that when I emerge on the other side of His refining fire, I will be closer to reflecting His image and closer to being the woman He created me to be.

When we look at Hebrews 12:5-6 this way, we should willingly surrender to His discipline. For it is His discipline that assures us we are legitimate, loved children of God. He is treating us as His own. He is preparing us. He is training us. He is transforming us.

Dear Lord, thank you for disciplining me. It is hard to take but I understand it is for my good and Your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Would you be willing to share a time of discipline in your life? Please visit my blog and leave me your story. I will select one comment to receive a copy of i am not, but i know I AM by Louie Giglio.

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God's Story by Wendy Blight

i am not, but i know I AM by Louie Giglio

A Perfect Mess: Why You Don't Have to Worry About Being Good Enough for God by Lisa Harper

Enjoy more encouragement with our free Everyday Life article A Well-Pruned Life

Application Steps:
Read Deuteronomy 8:2-5. What do these verses say about God's discipline?
Reflections: Reflect on a time of discipline in your life and journal what God taught you and how it has changed your life.

Power Verses:
Hebrews 12:7a, "As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children." (NLT)

Deuteronomy 8:5, "Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good." (NLT)

© 2010 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Amy C said...

Wow! This is my life right now. I have been praying Hebrews 12:11, for discipline (training) in weight loss and finances. It's tough! I feel like I understand the word "discipline" for the first time in my life. It is willing surrender. I didn't think about it that way before. It is willing surrender to God to allow Him to transform us, refine us, and continue to create us in His image in spirit and in heart.
Thank you for this one today. It definitely spoke right to me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years ago I learned that either I allow the Lord to discipline me or I will end up being disciplined in other ways. A life without discipline (which I considered bondage) lead to actual bondage of poor credit (I couldn't buy the things I wanted and needed), of being overweight (I couldn't move and my health was failing), and addiction to sleeping,(I couldn't accomplish one thing I set out to do) I was addicted to sleeping pills which allowed an escape from my raidly sinking life. When I finally allowed God to discipline me (AND IT HURT for a while), I got off the sleeping pills, Lost 65 lbs and almost have my credit rating back. I would never ever have chosen the route He took me through, but it takes what it takes and looking back I am SO grateful for His wisdom, nothing else would have worked for me. I just wish I had allowed His discipline more in my life before it came to that point. Thanks so much for this post. In this day and age, not many of us seek discipline in our lives but either we allow God to create self-discipline in us or it will be inflicted upon. Then we really will be in bondage.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I needed this. There is so much in my life that lacks descipline. Almost everything, finances, prayer life, disciplining my own children, and more. I just don't know where to begin. I am overwhelmed and feels like not doing anything. I just need to change now. Thank you! I need more people praying for me as it feels like more evil spirits are trying to prevent it from happening. God bless and thank you.

Blogger Kelsie said...

What a timely message, as I just struggled in disciplining my 3-year-old tonight. It was trying, but it was encouraging, as I could see him soften. This was a great reminder to me for both my parenting and my relationship with my heavenly Father. Thank you!

Amy C. and both Anonymous ladies, I just prayed for you. You can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens you! Trust in His strength to give you discipline. One hour at a time, one day at a time. May the Lord bless your journeys as you seek to honor Him in your lives!! :-)

Blogger Beckye said...

Yes, this is something I've been going through this past year. I had gotten lazy spiritually and was not obeying. He'd called me to start reading massive amounts of Scripture again a couple of years ago. He even told me that I would need it. I figured it was for others, and continued to disobey. Finally He brought me to the place where I was asking Him to get me back on track, obedient and fruitful. Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The next day He told me that was in answer to my prayer! Sure enough, He knew what He was talking about; I needed His Word -- and not only for me, but for those He was sending me to minister to in cancer treatment. :) He has graciously shown His glory in abundance through it all, has done miraculous things through treatment (no side effects!), and has gotten me back into His Word and made it rich. He uses all things for our good and His glory, and has shown His love and discipline as my Father through this whole journey. Praise His Name!

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