At least once we have all experienced God’s discipline in our lives. Sometimes these seasons of testing last longer than what we expect, or they just simply last for a couple of weeks. No matter how long these seasons are, let’s be honest, they are not really enjoyable.
We are all quite familiar with the passage in Hebrew 12, where it says that the Lord disciplines the one He loves and that He does this for our good, so that we may share in His holiness. Even more, it says that the fruit or ‘reward’ of this discipline is a life of righteousness and peace. This sounds amazing! … but painful! The life of David has always amazed me and interested me. After all, the Bible says that he was a man after God’s own heart. During this last time, the Holy Spirit has touched my heart with the words of David in Psalms 26 and 139:
examine my heart and my mind;
for I have always been mindful of your unfailing
love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.”
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Let’s meditate on this for a moment. He is asking God to test him and try him. Who does that? Have you ever heard of a child asking his parents to discipline him? I have never heard of such a thing!
He is asking for it
Most of us will embrace and endure every time God brings discipline on our lives, because we know what His promise is and we genuinely look forward to the fruit of righteousness that will come forth in us. His promise gives us the courage to endure the process of that discipline. But do we ever take the initiative to ask God to test us and try us? We might relate to the fact that we ask God to ‘cleanse us’, but I see that David’s prayer in these passages goes even further. He is basically asking the Lord to put him in different situations where his heart may be put under pressure for a season of time, because he wants to walk in God’s righteousness. I find this fascinating and radical!
We live in societies that run away from the discipline of God. In fact, I’ve read of some modern methods of raising up children, which advice parents to not discipline their children. I believe this is not according to what the Bible says. We are surrounded by ideologies that influences us to reject discipline. How radical it is then to not only accept God’s discipline when it comes, but also to ask for it, even when we know it can be painful.
“Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord, the one you teach from your law” (Psalm 94:12)
This was David’s vision. He knew he would be blessed every time God would discipline him and teach him from His law. This is also the vision we need to have. Do we want to be radical women after God’s own heart? Do we want a life of peace and righteousness? This is the prayer that the Spirit is leading us to pray:
“Test me, Lord! Search me! Put me on trial! See that I am faithful to you and that I want to walk in your
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