Challenge: Identify the Almighty’s discipline and accept it.
Explanation: An intelligent man believes in God because he understands that only a higher intelligence could have created man and the Universe. He understands that this Higher Intelligence wants good things for His creation, even more than a human father wants good for his children. Wanting good for others is a sign that we love them, and yet we discipline those whom we love. I rebuke and discipline those I love, Jesus said. Scripture also says:
Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects;
therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. Job 5:17
Your challenge this week is to identify and recognize God’s discipline in your life. If He disciplines those He loves, there are only three options:
1. He has seen your mistakes and is disciplining you, because He loves you.
2. He loves you, but hasn’t disciplined you because you’ve been perfect.
3. You have made mistakes, but haven’t been disciplined by God because you haven’t given Him a chance to discipline you.
The second option is impossible, so this leaves the other two.
The first option occurs with those who believe in God and want to live in a way that pleases Him. When God is your Father, throughout your life He molds and corrects you in various ways. The wise son accepts discipline and is happy. Yes, it’s necessary to be wise about God’s correction, because He uses different techniques to correct us. He lets us suffer the consequences of our actions; He rebukes as we read or hear His word; He warns us through those He has chosen to point out our mistakes; He shows us what happens to those who walk the path of disobedience when we are on that path; He guides us in our thoughts so that we evaluate our actions and notice where we need to change; He lets us go through deserts or hard times so we can learn to better recognize God’s voice; and uses many other techniques to get our attention. That’s why you must have the wisdom to identify God’s correction, accept it, and change your behavior.
The second option (third in the list above) is worrying. This is when you are making mistakes left and right, but can’t see God’s discipline at all. This means that you’ve probably been living independent from, and indifferent to Him, unconcerned about whether or not you please Him. There could also be a good dose of pride inside of you, a belief in your own goodness, or other attitudes that anger God. Whatever the reason, the fact is that God has not been free to discipline you, not because He doesn’t want to or can’t, but because He respects your decision to live without Him. In this situation, your only hope is to humble yourself, go to Him in prayer and ask Him to correct you. Make a sincere, honest decision to submit to the discipline of the Almighty.
Find where you stand in light of these two options. What’s your situation. If it’s the first, so recognize it and receive God’s discipline. If it’s the second, so humble yourself and ask Him to start correcting you.
Take some time this week to be alone with God, free from distractions, and think about this.
Notebook: Write down where you stand (first or second option) and what God showed you as you reflected on this subject. In regard to God’s discipline, decide how you will change.
Official Partner: Speak to your partner about this challenge. How receptive have you been to God’s discipline? Have you been an obedient or stubborn child? Has it been easy to hear God’s discipline? Have you had no corrections from Him?
Deadline: You may begin working on this task immediately. Spend a week on it before going on to Challenge #16.
IntelliMen Challenge #15 done: In regard to God’s discipline, I have been thinking… (Add your thoughts and conclusions taken from this challenge.)
☐ Reflect on my situation in light of God’s discipline.
☐ I wrote down my conclusions in my Notebook
☐ I spoke to my Partner about the challenge
☐ I posted a comment on Facebook/Twitter
Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Proverbs 9:8