“Chastening” (Discipline NASB) (4148) is a word that is rapidly losing its importance in our culture. It is multi faceted as Adam Clarke tells us in this insight into the word. The Hebrew word
“signifies correction, discipline, and instruction. Teaching is essentially necessary to show the man the way in which he is to go; discipline is necessary to render that teaching effectual; and, often, correction is requisite in order to bring the mind into submission, without which it cannot acquire knowledge.”I don’t know about you, but I don’t like discipline. I want to be a free spirit American of the 21st century, doing what I want, going where I will, with no restraints on my pursuit of happiness. The problem is, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God call me to obedience and, here is that ugly word, discipline.
It is true that we have liberty in Christ. The paradox is that if you are in Christ you want to please Him in all ways. Does Jesus want me fat? No, but He is more concerned that my spirit be lean and well exercised. The interesting thing is that one should produce the other. Prayer and fasting, working to support myself and my family, giving of my resources to help those in need, sharing my food with the hungry, all of these things limit my intake of food and increase my burning of calories.
Does Jesus get offended if I take a nap? No, but it is hard to take a nap when you are helping a neighbor get their cat out of the tree or the clog out of their sewer.
So? Welcome the teaching that God provides. Meditate on the difficulties that face you. Rejoice that God cares enough to correct you. The Highway of Holiness may demand discipline but remember that the lion does not roam there.