Recognizing God’s Chastening
It is vital that we recognize the fact that God chastens us when we sin, either by omission or commission.
He does so because He loves us and wants us to learn to be like Him in character and power.
Hebrews 12:4-10(NKJV): And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
How then does God chasten us?
God uses Satanic affliction to chasten us by removing the hedge of protection around us, making it possible for Satan’s attacks on our bodies and circumstances to overcome us.
Job 1:9-11(NKJV): So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
Ps 119:67(NKJV): Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.
Ps 119:71(NKJV): It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.
Because Satan is the originator of affliction many times we do not see the chastening of the Lord that is behind some afflictions.
Now, not all afflictions are God’s chastening: sometimes Satan attacks simply because we are obeying God’s Word:
Mark 4:17(KJV): afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
How then do you know when an affliction has God’s chastening behind it?
When you resist the devil through prayer and the spoken Word and he does not flee, then you know that God is chastening you so you can submit to Him in some area of your life before you can successfully overcome the Satanic affliction assailing you.
James 4:7-10(NKJV): Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
So it is vital to examine and judge yourself when faced with an affliction so you can make any necessary inner adjustments to be able to overcome Satan’s attacks.
Many times God’s chastening through Satanic afflictions comes as weaknesses, sicknesses or even premature physical death.
1 Corintians 11:30-32(NKJV): For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
So anytime you see yourself being spiritually weak: you don’t have the strength to pray or be spiritually effective; or having a recurrent sickness that robs you of your physical and spiritual ability first examine yourself to see if God is using the situation to chasten you.
You may need to repent of a wrong attitude of un-forgiveness, bitterness or rebellion. It may be just plain spiritual laziness or negligence that has opened the door to Satan since the Bible says “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” (Hosea.4.6).
When God chastens with premature physical death it is to save His people from some evil to come (Isaiah. 57.1), through some loophole in their lives Satan is exploiting that they have not taken heed to closing after repeated warnings by God. God does this so that they may obtain a better resurrection ( Hebrews. 11.35) and not go to hell.
1 Corintians 5:5-6(NKJV): deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
If they take heed to God’s warnings and close the loophole they can be saved from premature physical death.
So by examining ourselves when facing afflictions, particularly of weakness, sickness and life threatening situations we can recognize God’s chastening and learn from them to partake of His holiness and triumph over the affliction as this is the will of God that we triumph always in all situations (2 Corintians. 2. 14).