The Bible is filled with promises of God for his children but we barely see them manifesting in our lives. We might be holding on to promises that God gave us regarding our future or husband or children. But the situation around us might look horrible. As we wait for the promises to manifest, we get frustrated and depressed. We only see a hopeless situation around us. The Lord is here to strengthen us! In Isaiah 35:3-5 we read ,”Strengthen the feeble hands; steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Fear is the weapon of the devil. The devil uploads fear in our system like a virus, so fear keeps accumulating and takes control of the whole being. Fear is from a demonic spirit. Fear is an imaginary hopeless situation that the devil creates.
When we look at the life of Israelite people; they had to go around the wall of Jericho for 7 days for 7 times to take the victory. During the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th round nothing happened. They got the victory only on the 7th day. We might be in a similar situation; the devil might say that the situation won’t change and it is hopeless. But we have to turn around and say that “something is happening inside”. This is what we call faith. We may not be able to sense what is happening but we know that we are nearing the victory. As it is written in Deuteronomy 29:2-4, “Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them: Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials, and to all his land. With your own eyes, you saw those great trials, those signs, and great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear”. Israelites saw the wonders of God, but Moses knew the ways of God.
I see but I do not understand. Lord, please teach me.
Though the Israelites saw the things happening to Pharaoh and his officials, they didn’t have an open mind to understand the mysteries of God. So are we! We fail to understand the mysteries of God.
In order to understand this, we need to endure hardship as discipline. In Hebrew 12:7-8 it is written “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating us as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined, and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all”.
Hardship is no pain or shame. It is to strengthen us. For example, when we are under the discipline of a coach; we eat, sleep and train according to his schedules. If we have to win a medal, we have to submit under a coach and train according to the instructions given by the coach. The moment we say hardship, we visualize meeting with an accident and losing a leg, heart problem, diabetes, etc. But the actual meaning in the context is different. In Hebrew 12:9-10 we read, “Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness”.
Punishment and discipline are two different sides. In schools, teachers beat us with a stick and call it discipline. But actually it is a punishment. Discipline is falling in line with certain regularities. Training ourselves in a particular way is discipline. If we are not disciplined to follow certain regularities in school or in college, we have to undergo punishment. Similarly, God disciplines us so that we will pursue and be victorious. If we are not disciplined, we will not grow spiritually. Through discipline, God shows us what we are capable and what God is capable of.
Before God directed the Israelites to Canaan, he took them through the wilderness to make them understand “how big GOD is and how precious the people are”. But the Israelite’s hearts were so hardened that they didn’t like the discipline, they murmured and complained. When God led the Israelites through the wilderness, he asked them to leave with the same cloth and sandals they were wearing and not to carry anything additional. “During the forty years that the Lord led the Israelites through the wilderness, their clothes did not wear out, nor did their sandals on their feet. God provided them in every step of their walk. Discipline is to trust God and walk in faith.
The Israelites had fought a lot of battles. They were not warriors. They were slaves for nearly four generations. They didn’t know how to handle the sword and spear. But God disciplined them to trust him and trained them to win the war.
Let us look at the spiritual aspect of discipline. When we are born again, our spirit is liberated. Our flesh and soul remain the same. Spirit is from God and it carries our destiny. The spirit is all blooming and bubbly. Imagine that the spirit is one day old and our soul is 35 years old. The soul will obviously try to dominate the spirit in every aspect. At this point, God intervenes. The spirit has to submit to the father of spirits and confess the goodness of the Lord.
When Jesus and his disciples were on the boat, Jesus was below the deck sleeping. In the middle of the night when the storm and lightning came, the disciples had a hard time to hold the boat. When Peter and other disciples tried to control the boat, they tried everything from the soul. They could not do it. And when they woke up Jesus, he then asked, ‘why did you fear?’. This word was to the spirit of the disciples. They learnt the lesson in their spirit. So, discipline is for the soul. The soul has to learn what is in the spirit. In the battlefield, the soul tries to fight; day and night it tries, and if the spirit does not align with the soul, it will get tired. Discipline is necessary for the soul, only then we will be able to do what we are called to do.
Take a moment to do this prayer..
Let it happen today. Do it in my life. Let things turn around. Let there be a changeover in my life today. Lord, I am under your anointing, I am under your presence and you are my father. You are the father of all spirits. I submit to you.
When the spirit has to take a step forward, the soul has to die. When we submit, God wants to bring something beautiful and special out of our spirit. As long as we are connected to the spirit, we will never be shaken because of hardships. We will stay strong. Amen!