“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Hebrews 12:11 AMP says, “For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Discipline – instruction, training, correction – is not pleasant at the time it is being administered, but it produces righteousness in the person being disciplined and ultimately it produces peace. If you will submit to God’s discipline – through His Word and His Spirit, you will bring forth the fruit of righteousness and peace.
And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; 6 For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. 7 You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? 8 Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]. 9 Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? 10 For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. Hebrews 12:5-10 AMP
The biggest problem in the Church today, is that you have too many people calling themselves Christians – children of Father God – who do not, and will not, submit themselves to God’s discipline through His Word and Spirit. Paul tells us not to take God’s discipline lightly and not to get all bent out of shape or give up when He corrects you. We have seen so many people going round and round the mountain one more time, because they have areas of their life that are off limits to God. They will not allow the Lord to bring correction to them in particular areas of their lives, therefore they never grow in those areas and are always in bondage to the mistaken attitudes and ways of thinking that come with pride and sin. Of course, discipline is not pleasant at the time! None of us likes to be disciplined – its hard on our flesh and our pride and our ego – but if we will humble ourselves and allow the fire of God to do its work in us, we will come through the other side with a burden lifted; freer and more joy-filled than we have ever been before; with a new appreciation for our Father God and how much He loves and cares for us!
Paul asks the question: “For what son is there whom his father does not thus train and correct and discipline?” Discipline is for the good of the child. In those days fathers would instruct and discipline their children and God expects fathers to continue to do that today. Instructing, disciplining, correcting, and training his children is one of the main responsibilities of a father – not just putting a roof over your kid’s heads, clothes on their back, food on their plate, and sending them to a good school. None of these things will produce obedient kids and good, productive citizens without your personal, daily input. You have to realize that if you do not give your children guidance – someone else will; if you do not mold them and shape them – someone else will.
Politicians are always trying to remove or hinder parental authority – in the guise of what is good for the child – and have succeeded in many instances, but God put the responsibility for teaching, training, and discipline squarely on the parents, especially the fathers! You have to understand that we are in a war for the hearts of men. Ungodly law-makers and educators would love to have the opportunity to shape your child’s mind and attitude. Why do you think it was so important to the atheists for prayer to be taken out of school? This one decision has changed several generations – and not for the good. America is losing its moral compass as society encourages rebellion against authority and disdain for all that is good. If you do not take responsibility for appropriately disciplining your children, you leave them open for a life of rebelliousness against authority, resulting in rebellion against God, Himself!
Raising and disciplining a child is not the easy way or the lazy way – it requires effort and time and consistency. You have to discipline yourself to take the time and make the effort to input into your children. It takes lots and lots of love and patience. You have to put your own flesh under; you cannot afford to be selfish; you cannot abdicate your responsibilities and leave it up to the mother of your children to do it all on her own. A father’s influence on his kids is huge – whether he takes responsibility or not. He is directly responsible for how they turn out. A father who refuses to be involved with his children’s upbringing – whether he lives in the house or not – is sending a message to his children: you are illegitimate! That may sound strong, but illegitimate children are usually not acknowledged nor treated as sons. If you ignore them – that is the message you are sending – you are saying, “You are not loved or wanted.”
We are not illegitimate offspring – we are children of our Father God. Discipline produces respect. If we respect our earthly fathers and obey them, should we not even much more submit to our Heavenly Father and live! Earthly fathers discipline us for only a short period of time and chastise us as seems proper and good to them; but God disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness.