How do you know when God is disaplineing you?
How do you know when God is disaplineing you?
Be joyful always; Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
In my experience, I certainly knew, although in my case it wasn't so much God's discipline, as it was God allowing me to experience the consequences of the choices I made.
Pretty well known on the board, I lived with my husband before marriage. BECAUSE we were unmarried, when he was in a ghastly accident:
1. I was not allowed to decide if he got to live or die. Ever had to beg someone for another person's life? Not fun.
2. I was not allowed any money from his business. I was lucky to get a week's pay.
3. I had great difficulty trying to sign him up for benefits.
4. I was not allowed to take him home, when he got out of the hospital. I had to beg someone, again, for the priviledge of feeding him and giving him bed baths! Thank God his Medicare had not kicked in yet or he'd be in a nursing home.
You get the idea. The sad fact, and I KNEW this, I wouldn't have had a speck of trouble had we been legally married (and common law doesn't count at my trauma center - he would have had to sign a power of attorney, which he'd refused to do). The next time he went into the hospital? After we made it legal? Not a speck of trouble.
Now, it might look like God got out his belt and whipped me, but in my case He couldn't protect me from the consequences of my own bad actions. Had I done things His way, I would have had a lot less pain.
But I knew better, so I had to deal with the results.
Same thing with, say, shoplifting. If I shoplifted, and got arrested, that isn't God's discipline - it's consequences of my own bad choices.
Say, I smoke and abuse prescription painkillers. I get cancer. Well, again, that's bad choices.
Say I drive drunk and break my neck. Same thing. I chose to drive drunk.
None of it is God disciplining me. It's just God allowing me to experience free will.
My husband is an alcoholic. I tend to regard him as an idol. Not worshipping him, but focused a lot more on my relationship, and pleasing "him"; than my relationship and pleasing Him. I tend to take his opinion over what He has to say in the Bible.
And, because my husband is an alcoholic, every now and then he has a horrible blackout, and I realize that he is not God, and God is the only unfailing relationship in my life!
None of this is discipline or judgement, but our own choices - we plant seeds, we get a harvest.
God can also allow seemingly horrible things (like my husband's acident, my own brain damage and mental illness)- to work for greater, often, unseen, purpose.
Example, if I wasn't "crazy", I doubt I would do the Bible Handouts!
And the fact that my husband witnesses, and has a strong faith, in spite of being blind and in a wheelchair, with obvious head trauma, makes for a far better witness than a guy who has everything. Things like that work for an eternal purpose, not an earthly one.
" I have had an increasing burden to engage in some down and dirty, street evangelism." March 6, 2010
Isaiah 6:8 I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “ Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
Matthew 22:9 NIV
'So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’
I'm praying for you daily!
I get my Bibles here
Heather, you made a great lead-in for my own question...
How do we know the difference between the Lord's discipline and suffering consequences of our own actions?
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.
~2 Timothy 2:15
God said it, I believe it, that settles it.
Not all suffering is a result of sin. Many suffer persecution from the Enemy because they practiced righteous acts. It's all a matter of examining your activities in light of scripture.
It's not always possible to determine whether "reproof" is specifically from the Lord, or whether hard times are merely the result of violating spiritual laws He set in place long ago. However, I have found that the easiest way to hear a direct message from God is to pray, in sincerity, the following prayer, and wait for remembrances/images to come to mind (or a "confirming" action to occur soon afterwards):
"Lord, show me my sins."
This might be helpful.
When, why, and how does the Lord God discipline us when we sin?http://www.gotquestions.org/Lord-God-discipline.html
Question: "When, why, and how does the Lord God discipline us when we sin?"
Answer: The Lord's discipline is an often-ignored fact of life for believers. We often complain about our circumstances without realizing that they are the consequences of our own sin and are a part of the Lord's loving and gracious discipline for that sin. This self-centered ignorance can contribute to the formation of habitual sin in a believer's life, incurring even greater discipline.
Discipline is not to be confused with cold-hearted punishment. The Lord's discipline is a response of His love for us and His desire for each of us to be holy. “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (Proverbs 3:11-12; see also Hebrews 12:5-11). God will use testing, trials, and various predicaments to bring us back to Himself in repentance. The result of His discipline is a stronger faith and a renewed relationship with God (James 1:2-4), not to mention destroying the hold that particular sin had over us.
The Lord's discipline works for our own good, that He might be glorified with our lives. He wants us to exhibit lives of holiness, lives that reflect the new nature that God has given us: “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16).
This would be a mother and son.
I've watched the dynamics of this family for many years now.
When son was growing up, mother bragged about how she never took him to church after he was baptised...even though she promised so she could have her big church wedding.
Son was not disciplined, and mother was very permissive. She would block father's attempts to discipline son.
Son became an adult in the legal sense, & got involved with a married woman with small children.
She got pregnant, and a divorce resulted. She gave up her children to be with son.
Mother allowed son to move gf in with her & dad.
Together, mother & son destroyed a marriage and family.
Mother did not approve of gf, not so much because she was married, but because she was not from a wealthy family.
Also, mother made disparaging remarks over the years about people of a specific ethnic group.
Her out of wedlock grandchild bears many features of this ethnic group.
Mother is ashamed that her special DNA did not override the gf's DNA.
Mother couldn't wait for gf to move out and abandon gc to her. And she interfered a great deal to prevent son from marrying gf after the divorce.
A marriage was successfully prevented, even though there was already a child.
Mother eventually got her wish.
But there is a saying about "Be careful what you wish for, you might get it."
Mother discovered that she cannot keep up with a toddler.
Then, gf accused son of a serious crime, which is still in the court process.
The stress of the legal woes and the active toddler caused mother to become seriously ill (permanent damage) to the point she cannot properly care for her gc.
The legal woes have cost this family more money than they can afford.
If son is convicted, there is a strong possibility that his child will wind up in foster care.
This family is on the brink of destruction.
When it was suggested to them that they seek out a church, the suggestor was met with silence and blank stares.
God Will Not Be Mocked.
Some people would say "That's Karma."
Others would say, "What goes around, comes around."
But I think God is disciplining them.