OLUBI JOHNSON AND KUNLE SOKOYA
Hebrews 12:5-13 AMP: And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; (6) For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. (7) You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? (8) Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]. [Prov. 3:11, 12.] (9) Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? (10) For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. (11) For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. (12) So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees, [Isa. 35:3.] (13) And cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction], so that the lame and halting [limbs] may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured.
Correction can be defined as instruction that makes something or someone right, true or accurate.
Here, we are admonished to love correction, even though it may be grievous at first, since ultimately its purpose is to enable us to develop God’s character of holiness and so brings us into full spiritual maturity.
Even the Lord Jesus, as He GRADUALLY GREW (Lk. 2.40-52) into spiritual maturity from when He was 12 years old (Lk.2.51 AMP), took instruction to do God’s perfect will when He did not feel like it:
1. When His mother Mary wanted Him to turn water to wine and He initially thought it was not time, but obviously after inquiring of the Holy Spirit, He took the correction and God turned the water into wine!
John 2:3-9 NKJV: And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” (4) Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” (5) His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.“ (6) Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. (7) Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. (8) And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. (9) When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.
2. At Gethsemane, He did not feel like going to the cross but after prayer, He submitted to God’s will and went to the cross.
Matthew 26:38-39 NKJV: Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” (39) He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.“
So, we see the Lord Jesus Himself learnt to obey God by self-denial, obeying instruction when He did NOT FEEL LIKE IT!
Hence Paul writes of Him in
Hebrews 5:8-9 AMP: Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered (9) And, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him, [Isa. 45:17.]
We MUST learn to love correction because of the sin-nature in our souls (Jn.2.24-25; 3.19-21): wills, minds and emotions and bodies and power of Satan in the air, OUR HEARTS ARE DECEIVED (Jer. 17.9) AND BLINDED (2 Cor. 4.3-4) to what the will of God is in MANY situations and circumstances, hence, the ESSENTIAL NEED FOR REGULAR CORRECTION AND INSTRUCTION!
Ephesians 2:2-3 NKJV: in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, (3) among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
So, we need the CONSISTENT input of the God’s Word, through our personal reading and meditation AND the instruction and correction of spiritual leaders as they preach, teach and counsel us from the Word.
Now the scripture reveals that
Jeremiah 17:9 AMP: The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]? [Matt. 13:15-17; Mark 7:21-23; Eph. 4:20-24.]
1John 3:20 NKJV: For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
Proverbs 28:26 NKJV: He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
How then do we walk wisely, so our hearts will not deceive us?
Hebrews 9:14 NIV: How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Psalms 119:130 NKJV: The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.
Psalms 119:24 NKJV: Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.
Hebrews 13:7 NKJV: Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
Hebrews 13:17 NKJV: Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
John 16:13 KJV: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
In our article next week, we will see in more detail WHY AND HOW to RECEIVE MORE CORRECTION AND SO INCREASE THE MEASURE OF LIGHT we receive from God’s Word.