December 04, 2020
If you are a parent you are in the constant process of training, whether you realize it or not. You are training your child one way or another. In the best homes the training is Biblical and intentional. This training involves instruction, reproof, correction, and discipline that is given with loving consistency.
Most of this training happens “along the way” in the daily experiences of life. A good mom or dad train with a goal in mind: to raise up a healthy, wise, godly son or daughter that can do the same one day with their children.
God reminds us in Hebrews 12, that He is a loving, perfect Father who always trains or “disciplines” His children. This for our good and will yield the fruit of rightness in our lives, correcting areas that need transformation and conforming us into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ.
But this process can be aborted by our lack of cooperation with the Lord. So, following the reminder that this training is coming, he tells us very specifically how to respond. The more we understand this, the easier to cooperate with God’s purposes. And the quicker we respond, the faster the growth.
As God is training you …
“Strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble” (vs. 12)
In times of discipline you need strength. This is only found in Christ. Don't let yourself become weak and feeble. You need the regular intake of God's Word, (even more in times of testing), and a deep reliance on the power of the Spirit inside of you.
“Make straight paths for your feet so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed” (vs. 13)
The tendency in testing is to take an alternate path. The goal of this moment is to heal parts of yourself. If you take an alternate path, it will make the joint that needs healing more out of joint.
“Pursue peace with all men” (vs. 14)
Testing almost always involves people too. In fact, most of our development needs to come in how we relate to people, particularly those who may hurt us. Some people will not be at peace with you, but you are to make sure that you are seeking peace as far as it lies within you. There are many instructions about how to do this in the Scripture.
“Pursue sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (vs. 14)
The best athletes stay after practice. They work harder at their craft. If you want to be a godly man or woman, be aggressive about learning what God has to teach you so you will become more and more like Him. Don’t waste your difficulties and the training that God is trying to accomplish.
“Let no root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by it many be defiled” (vs. 15)
If you are not careful, it is easy to get bitter in the midst of difficulty or testing, and our greatest hurt is often against the Lord for allowing this in our lives. To avoid harbored hurt, embrace God's sovereignty over your life. He has the right to do whatever is necessary to develop His children ... and it is good for us and will produce what nothing else can.
“And there be no immoral or Godless person like Esau who sold his own birthright for a single meal” (vs. 16)
You won’t see an Olympic athlete wasting time on things that are not contributing to his goal. During the training of God (which often comes through what seem like random trials) the tendency is to run to your favorite sin to get some relief. If you do you will miss the purpose of the training and also go deeper into wrong habits.
God takes everyone through His training programs. We must remember (as Hebrews 12 reminds us) that this discipline is motivated by perfect love; is from a perfect Father who sees us as sons and daughters; is momentary; and is always for our good that we may share His holiness.
Do you resent your trials right now as intruders or are you embracing this time of training? If you will, you will discover at the end the blessed results of a godly life.
Father, thank You that You love me so deeply that You never quit training me. Help me to see it for what it is with each new exercise and experience and to aggressively cooperate with You.
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