On Wednesday I talked about being a slave to sin and wouldn’t you know it, I sinned yesterday. Not really a surprise since I’m still human after all, but it’s very frustrating. Of course I didn’t just stop and repent and get back into fellowship with God, instead I ignored and thought I could just move on with my day.

One of the things I’ve learned in my walk with Jesus is that he likes to discipline me in very subtle ways. Sometimes it’s something external like a fight with my wife or impatience with my kids. Sometimes though it expresses itself internally – like it did yesterday.

As I was sitting writing my post for yesterday in which I wanted to talk a little bit about Theology I just had this sense that the post was bad; I’ve noticed this same phenomenon when I’ve prepared sermons too. One of the ways that God seems to discipline me by “repressing” my gifts.

On the one hand it’s really frustrating because I tend to be a little slow and miss why my writing is so bad, or so difficult, etc. I’ve been writing for years – I wrote a lot in high school and college, and continued to write throughout seminary. Of course the subject of my writing became much more academic, but I could still write and not too poorly. But when God is disciplining me this seems to be one area that he chooses to “spank.”

So what do we do when God disciplines us? I tend to start looking at my life over the last few hours/days and see if there is something that sticks out. Sometimes something comes to mind right away, but other times it takes a bit of thought and prayer. Once I’ve discovered the sin, I go to the Lord in prayer.

Confessing though is so hard. There is something embarrassing about coming to God and admitting that I screwed up…again. That is one of the devil’s tricks – he tries to convince us that God is so displeased with us that we can’t even go to him and confess. Ugh, curse you Satan!

Another thing that I’ve been seeing lately when I come to the Lord in confession is that Jesus had to die for that sin. Ouch. When the Holy Spirit brings that to mind I can’t help but cry. Jesus already died for my past sins, so why do I continue to pile more on him? Of course I know theologically that it’s because of my flesh, but still, to think in a very personal way that Jesus had to die for that sin.

However, I’m glad that God chooses to discipline me. That might sound a little strange but think about it this way:

My son, do not despise the Lord ‘s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Prov 3:11-12)

You see when God disciplines us he is only doing so because he loves us. Just like my children, I discipline them because I love them and want the best for them. God is doing the same thing to you and me. If we are his children we are going to get spanked when we disobey.

Look at your life and see if God is disciplining you. He doesn’t always use a 2×4 – it may be something so subtle that it can only come from the hand of God. If you are being disciplined, repent! Get back into fellowship with God – there is no better place to be. If you are not being disciplined, rejoice! Hopefully you are not being disciplined because you are regularly repenting and your fellowship with God is great.