God's Way (2)

  • You'll notice James 1:12 doesn’t say if, it says "when he is tried". People will say that God is sending the trials and temptations into your life. That’s totally wrong. James 1:13 says so. God will use the trials and temptations, but he is not the author of them. James 1, verse 13 says, God will never tempt you or put you in a place of temptation.

    Who is the tempter. Well lets find out. Matthew 4:3 says it is the enemy, the devil, Satan. “When the tempter came to him”. It’s right there in that verse. Also, 1 Thessalonians 3:5 reveals clearly who the tempter is. Don't take my word for it, look up that scripture and study it.

    James 1:14-18. The truth of God’s word brings us forth and out of trials. Verse 17 is so powerful. Good and perfect gifts come from the Father and in Him is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. It means He’s always the same and doesn’t change like the shadows from light change.

    It will seem like discipline, but that’s because we don’t like it when we’re corrected from our beliefs, false as they may be. We don’t like to be reproved.

    God never says “see, I told you so” when we make a choice that might be errant in nature. If you listen closely He is saying “here let me tell you or show you correctly”. He simply puts his arm around us and says, let’s walk and talk about that choice. Here’s how my choice that I was speaking to you about would have been better. He has a way of speaking to us so gently and kindly that makes us comfortable until we leave the conversation and realize that half our butt is missing.

    Look what Hebrews 4:12 says about the word. It cuts, it’ll separate you from your wrong religious beliefs about performance by showing you the truth and power in rest.

    What seems like discipline is really training in truth. The whole emphasis of discipline is related to training of a child. Do we really believe God is going to whip us or beat us after all we’ve learned about His grace?

    Many Christians cannot get free from their perverted notions of God. This poisons their hearts and destroys their inward freedom. It causes them to work at doing what they think or have been told is right, without enthusiasm or joy.

    Let me digress and ask a question right here. How do you feel when someone says “you need to obey the Lord? If you don’t, you won’t be blessed. God will be angry and punish you”.

    Do you take that as pressure, or a joy? When they say, “you just need to get your faith out there. You’re not holy enough, praying enough, giving enough, or worshipping enough. God is not happy and will cause something bad to happen to discipline you”.

    Most times when we hear about obedience, it’s like a ton of bricks falling on us. This puts you back in the Christian trap that destroys rest and peace. Remember that faith shows up best when you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    Let me encourage you right now with this statement. To believe is to obey God. It’s not your performance or lack thereof that God is focusing on. It’s your right believing. When you believe right, you will want to obey God. When you understand harmful discipline is not from God, that’s right believing.

    Right there in that statement – to believe is to obey God – I just destroyed legalism. I just destroyed religion. Religion says to obey is to follow a set of written codes or ordinances, usually man made, in order to avoid punishment from God. God says obedience is trusting Him and resting there.

    This whole Hebrews 12 is about endurance. It’s not fun to go through discipline, through trials and tribulations. Just look at Hebrews 12:7. We see God as Father. He treats us like the children we are. No wise and good father ignores the faults in his own children. He most likely will ignore faults in others, but his relation and his affections drive and oblige him to take more notice of the faults of his own children.

    In this you must know God is not punishing you. Chastisement is God’s great love for you. He takes an interest in his kids and chastens them with the truth to perfect them even further. If God punished anyone of his children, then Jesus wasted his time, and God was not well pleased in Him.

    Look at Proverbs 3:10-12. This is what the writer of Hebrews is referring to in Hebrews 12:5,6. By the way, the only punishment there is for sin is death. God is continually purposed to change you into his image. The enemy is purposed in getting you to focus on trials and pains, so that you quit enduring as a soldier. So the message is that if you’re going through hell, you are an honored child of God whom He loves. God did not author the suffering, but he will give you strength to endure and thereby perfect you as a son.

    The enemy will tell you you’re on your own whenever troubles, pain, and trials come. He’ll try to tell you that God has left you or that you’ve sinned and God is punishing you for it.

    “You’re a sorry excuse for a Christian and you need to get your act together. You need to try harder”. The problem with that is that there is no longer any punishment left. The trials in our live’s are what God uses to simply deal with the stuff in our live’s that try to distract us from who we are. God will use these trials and temptations from the enemy to train us as to who we are and what we’re destined to be. That being heirs and joint heirs with Christ.

    So, here’s an answer to your questions plainly if they haven’t already been answered above. “Are there things that God allows in order to discipline us?” No. If you still believe that at this point, then you need to go back to the beginning of this teaching and study the scriptural references even more to find truth.

    Basically, we know that God can win with any hand and He will use anything and turn it to our favor and to His will for us. The only thing I can say that God allows is for us to have free choice. To make our own decisions even if they are going to be wrong decisions.

    Sometimes it’s those very decisions that bring us the trials or problems. The good news is that the reason you have those problems is because you have the answers. As I’ve said before. Problems are nothing more than a shadow of the forthcoming answers. So again, when we make choices apart from the loving direction God gives us, problems will come, but He will take us through them with loving correction. Grace and Peace.