Thursday, January 10, 2013

Divine Discipline

Jesus nailed to cross 300x224 The blood is precious

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

Has the question ever risen in your heart: Am I going to sit on the throne to rule and reign with Christ?  Maybe the better question to ask is: Am I meeting the conditions set by God to sit on the throne to rule and reign with Christ? God has left us examples in His word to help answer this question.

In I Kings, King David was on the verge of death and Israel was asking who will be heir.  We need to recognize how the natural man moved during this critical time in Israel’s history, and how the natural man is moving at this particular time as well.  The Holy Spirit helps us to recognize human nature and how God deals with it.  Throughout His Word, God exposes the natural man’s sinful state to help us. I Kings 1:1-37 records the story of David’s last days upon the earth. Verse 5 reads, “Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, “I will be king.”  So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him.”  Note the first two words, “I will”.  In Isaiah 14:13-14, Lucifer rose up and crassly spoke similar words before he was cast out of heaven, “….. I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” 

Nathan the prophet told King David what was taking place. I Kings 1:6 reads, “His father had never interfered with him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?...” This verse tells us Adonijah never experienced the discipline of his father. Understand this; we must receive our Father’s discipline in order to come into our given positions in the Body of Christ instead of moving forward and taking titles and ministries that have not been given to us. Only through this process of discipline will we sit on the throne to rule and reign with Jesus Christ.  Jesus said in Luke 16:10-12, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.  So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?  And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”

In 1 Kings 1:33 David declares his son Solomon as heir to his throne. Solomon’s procession didn’t consist of chariots or guards. He was put on the king’s mule, escorted by the priest and the prophet, then sat on the throne and was declared King. 

Solomon’s heart is revealed in I Kings 3:7-9, “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.  Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.  So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”   There was no arrogance, pride, or self confidence in Solomon. The prophet and priest came and got him.  Today it is the Holy Spirit that draws a person as we read in Matthew 2:14, “Many are called but few are chosen.”  You will know it and you will submit to God’s disciplinary process.  How important it is to listen, to agree and come into the reality of God’s divine discipline. 

Today, there is a greater one than Solomon (Matthew 12:42). According to Galatians 4:6, “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” This is being ‘United in the Spirit’. Since we have received the faith of the Son, we have received the authority and power of the Son.  However before we can exert the authority we must understand the discipline our Father puts us through.  We must willfully accept or reject the process of discipline; this is not the time to complain. God is speaking to his people through the unfolding events around us.  The Body of Christ is preparing to manifest the authority, the power and the glory of Jesus Christ; all that He is and all that He has. 

There was peace throughout the land during Solomon’s reign but it came to an end as all types and shadows do.   Today Jesus Christ has arrived in all His glory and He is increasing in us. Isaiah 9:7 (NKJV) reads, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end...” As the Spirit of Glory is increasing, the spirit of the antichrist is also increasing.  Discipline comes along with spiritual increase because the spirit of Christ is being poured out.  The church will arise in the glory and splendor of Jesus Christ.  Solomon was declared King and proclaimed heir of the kingdom because he was loved by his father.  Kingship is not a matter of merit, skill, talent or any natural accomplishments; it’s a matter of love. Love is the key to discipline that is working in us and for us.  Solomon’s words were referenced in Hebrews 12:5 when the Hebrews were going through troubling times of pressure and testing, “ . . .My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”  You and I are discovering our position; we are coming to know what it will take to rule and reign with Christ Jesus. 

Our Lord endured discipline.  Hebrews 5:7 reads, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered…..  Are you a son?  It is very important to understand our father’s ways!  Consider the Lord accepting Judas Iscariot’s purpose and never pushing him away.  He knew Judas’ walk with Him was appointed of His father.  Jesus knew his disciples were flesh and blood with weaknesses, ambitions and self interests.  As they walked with him he accepted and loved them to the end. 

Kingship is not a matter of merit, skill, talent or any natural accomplishments; it’s a matter of love.

We must understand and accept the process of discipline because God loves us despite the poverty, pain or whatever else has been ordained for us.  We belong to God.  If our Lord had to endure these hardships to inherit, shouldn’t we as sons and daughters accept hardships in order to receive our inheritance?  We are being loved in these times of hardships and crisis.  There is a hereafter; there is a throne to be received and a kingdom to rule.  He will entrust the Kingdom of His Son to children who have accepted the discipline and understood its purpose.  The reality of “Here am I” will set in and a joy will abound despite the circumstances.  You’ll know you’re in your Father’s hands.  God says to the church in Revelation 3:19-22 (NKJV), “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  TO HIM WHO OVERCOMES I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” We are destined to rule and reign, but there is a process of discipline that will bring discomfort, pain, and irritation.  God knows what he is doing to you. Sometimes He will use those closest to you, a family member, friend or co-worker. This is not a time to give up!!! This is a time to submit and depend on God.   Regardless of where you are pray that you will take hold of this revelation and submit to the Holy Spirit who will bring illumination to your understanding.  The process of being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ will become a reality and this world which is coming to an end will see that there is a people who know their God and who walk upon the face of this earth demonstrating, expressing and fulfilling God’s purpose.  The message of the cross is Jesus Christ glorified and exalted.    The Holy Spirit solely knows what the Body of Christ needs.  Rejoice in the Lord in EVERYTHING, rejoice!!!!

*Unless noted, all scripture references are from the NIV.