Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Do you need a spanking?
Guess what, God wants you to!
Since the days of the first two human beings in the Garden, our fight with God has been over our wanting to be independent by being god of our own lives. Yet, we can no more be independent from God than our bodies can be independent of oxygen.
"For the very life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being," Job 12:10.
That dependence isn't a mindless, robotic dependence; rather, it's the kind of living in obedience that is marked by the relationship of a child with his or her father.
We can chose to live in humility and obedience to God, or be taught the hard way, kind of like the story preacher Charles Swindoll tells of a time in his youth when he thought he would exercise a little independence from his father ...
"Having just broken into the sophisticated ranks of the of the teen world, I thought I was something on a stick. My father wasn't nearly as impressed as I was with my great importance and new-found independence.
"I was lying on my bed. He was outside the window on a muggy October afternoon in Houston, Texas, weeding the garden. He said, 'Charles, come out and help me weed the garden.' I said something like, 'NO, IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, REMEMBER?'
"My tone was sassy and my deliberate lack of respect was eloquent. I knew better than to disobey my dad, but after all, I was the ripe old age of thirteen. Dad set a new 100-meter record that autumn afternoon. He was in the house in a flash and all over me like white on rice, spanking me all the way out to the garden. As I recall, I weeded until the moonlight was shining on the pansies.
"That same night he took me out to a surprise dinner. He gave me what I deserved earlier. Later he gave me what I didn't deserve. The birthday dinner was a matter of grace. He showered his favor on this rebellious young man. And I enjoyed grace."
When we start acting a little too big for our britches, God doesn't hesitate to help us recalibrate our thinking ...
"And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, 'My child, don't make light of the Lord's discipline, and don't give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child'," Hebrews 12:5-6.
Are you living as a humble and obedient child with your heavenly Father? Or do you need a spanking?