The contrast between discipline and chastening is an interesting one for the Christian life…. Many—including myself, and many of my constituents—have often thought of discipline as something to be resisted and avoided, rather than to be embraced and cherished. If you are well versed in the Bible, you will note that God “disciplines those he loves” (Heb. 12:6, Heb. 12:10). We do well to think of discipline as a painful thing, and yet, to regard it, as necessary. Hebrews 12:11 tells us “For the moment all discipline feels painful….”, and that we are not to “regard lightly the discipline of the Lord” (vs. 5). Recognize that these “disciplining moments” are designed to do us good. Do you believe this?
Remember, to be an actual “Disciple” of Christ is to endure this discipline! This flies in the face of many modern-day prosperity gospels. You are literally called to suffer in many ways—both within and without…and to be joyful in it! (Wow.) The modern “Christian”—many of our generation—have not counted the cost (Luke 14:28) and—by misunderstanding—have plunged into the depths of an “I-deserve-this” attitude, that disregards what God declares we deserve. It is true that we must pursue the application of all the Bible, such as Micah 6:8 “…seek justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God….” But note this: we CAN suffer for both righteousness sake and “seek justice”—as long as it is on behalf of others and not out of self-ambition/self-promotion, or justice for self. (This “justice for self” is called vengeance, and it’s not yours, as a believer. According to Deut. 32:35) The Bible asks that we seek justice on behalf of others—meanwhile, allowing ourselves to be wronged, receiving it as an affirmation of our calling (Acts 5:41).
Chastening is a different “animal” and yet akin to discipline. It is what we suffer when we run from God. Discipline is to grow us; Chastening is what God does when we wander away from him—when we run headlong into the muck and mire of a prodigal son narrative. He brings us to our senses eventually or allows circumstances to be so grievous that we cannot turn anywhere else but back to him.
IF YOU MADE IT TO THE END OF THIS LITTLE ARTICLE you will note that application is warranted. This applies to all of us individually, corporately, politically, governmentally…and most importantly the CHURCH. We forget just what government is strongest here on earth, and IT IS NOT AMERICA. IT IS THE CHURCH. Lest we forget who has “dominion forever” (1Pete. 5:11)—that even the gates of hell itself cannot prevail against the Church—we will lose our power to do good if we forget the cross, the open grave, and the God who sent his Son—who sought justice by suffering for others.
If we cannot embrace, cherish, and see the chastening of the Lord upon this nation…then we are beyond hope of ever returning to the “golden years”. We cannot have America of the past; we cannot have morality; we cannot have virtue or integrity without the CHRISTIAN GOD OF THE BIBLE. Resisting Him is the same as embracing judgment and shunning his mercy; embracing Him is to submit to discipline—yet, an open opportunity to know his love!
“Separation of Church and State” purchases tyranny without restraint, because “One Nation/Person under God…” is the only place where FREEDOM is found. “Our Constitution was made FOR A MORAL AND RELIGIOUS PEOPLE. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” –John Adams.
The more we tamper with Biblical truth in society; the more alterations the Constitution will endure, in order to fit the desires of an immoral and Non-God-fearing people—until it becomes “wholly inadequate” to govern.
The same is true for all men and women. The more we deny Biblical truth access to our lives, the more our moral constitution/conscience will need to be overthrown. It is only natural to feel the need to surround ourselves with people who think like us (especially in immorality), all in order to create an untrue reality that numbs the God-given conscience. When this happens, not only will conscience/constitution be overthrown, those who agree with reality (by God’s standards) will need to be overthrown as well! May the age in which we live be an age of “Chastening”…or else it be a hastening age of Judgment from God himself.
America, choose wisely. God only disciplines and chastens those he loves; He Judges all others.