Trained by Chastening

“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)

As you grow in your walk with God, you will discover that one of the strongest forces you will ever face is to rule your own flesh! But that is exactly what “chastening” is… ruling and reigning over your flesh! Your flesh will try to oppose you, stand against you and resist you on all sides. You find that the flesh has a memory and a mind of its own. It will distract you and try to lure you into believing that you can do a little, but still get a lot. It will whine like a baby and cry about the “unfair treatment” you are challenging it with… even before anything has been done. Yet your goal must be relentless… as believers we are commanded to crucify the flesh! (Rom. 12:1-2)

The Serious Nature of Chastening:

The Apostle Paul said, “No, I strike a blow to my body and make it (the flesh) my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Cor. 9:27). He saw something deeply rooted inside that needed to be dealt with or it would be his greatest disappointment… he would look like a hypocrite to those that he was preaching to. Also he felt the weight of being disqualified for the prize… the highest honor of pleasing God with his assignment.

If you’re going to be mightily used by God, your flesh must be disciplined so it can become an instrument through which the Holy Spirit can flow. You have to pay the price of crucifying the flesh in order to have the resurrection power of Jesus Christ expressed through your life.

The Unruly Child:

If you look at a child with no parental guidance or discipline, you’ll see exactly what the flesh does when it has its own way. The child will probably lie around, watch television, and eat junk food from morning till evening. And any person who lets his flesh do what it wants will most likely adopt the same lifestyle! That’s why dealing with the flesh is almost like chastening a child. The flesh must be controlled, corrected and made to obey even if it wants to do otherwise. The process is painful, but the rewards are eternal!

To be treated like Sons and Daughters of God!

Here is the often forgotten exhortation: chastening is part of the family dynamic… God chastens the ones He loves and receives! Don’t let your flesh rob you of the joy of the Father’s heart revealing itself in intimacy and embrace. He is treating us like His sons and daughters… rather than slaves.

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.” (Heb. 12:5-8)

The Peaceable Fruit of Righteousness:

1st) You are Legitimate Sons: You are not slaves – you are Sons. Let that sink into your mind and meditate on it whenever you feel the burn of the flesh. Remind your flesh once more that the benefits far outweigh the pain or discomfort. Sons walk in favor, receiving all the privileges and resources of the family. Sons do not fight for their rights or “earn” their keep… they are legitimate and carry their training as a badge of honor. The look in their faces and the confidence in their behavior shows that the were shaped in the Father’s household.

2nd) You are Partakers of Kingdom Discipline: You are looking better every day… and in every way! Chastening reveals the gold… the treasure that is inside comes to the surface (2 Cor 4:7). This divine fruit of righteousness means that Christ Himself is being formed in you, reflecting through you and working itself out beyond you… to others. Love, joy, peace, patience and kindness, self-control and faithfulness are beginning to bubble up to the surface and there is a revelation of God’s voice in every step you take.

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