[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]W[/mk_dropcaps]hen God disciplines us, it is like He is acting as a guardrail on a road. If we continue straight ahead, unchanging, we will drive ourselves right off a cliff. God cares too much about us to let us do that. This means that there will be times that we crash into His guardrails. Although an accident, there still is a painful price to pay; albeit a far lesser cost than if His protection was not there. That is what I believe is so powerful about God’s discipline. Yes, it is hard to live a life in pursuit of obeying the Lord’s commandments. We are born with a sin nature afterall. When we are born again, we lay hold of the authority of Heaven here on Earth to be fruitful and multiply. We have dominion here on Earth; not in our own strength but because we partner with the Holy Spirit.
Recently, God grabbed my attention with a “guardrail accident.” The income I usually bring in dropped a significant amount. The funny thing was that I had been striving far more than in the past to bring breakthrough, but the fruit was not there. I felt things come to a halt. Normally I would have simply dug deeper and fought harder to keep striving for breakthrough. This time, though, I simply couldn’t. Questions I had kept in the background finally came forward and were no longer unavoidable. Not because I wanted to, but because God led me there, I ended up slamming into a crossroad. I could choose to go the path I had been going down, or I could step onto a new path. The old one (how I have been living and earning income) is comfortable and well known. I can manage that one. The new path is unfamiliar. It has sharp turns and I really cannot see far down to what is ahead. Even in this uncertainty, I feel there is more peace stepping into the new and unknown than there is remaining in the familiar.
You see, its taking blind steps of faith that makes discipline such an intimate act. It requires a level of vulnerability and trust that is reserved only for those closest. Think about it. When people do not know you well, their “discipline” feels more like criticism or advice. When it is from someone close, it can rattle us to the core. Remembering that discipline is used by God to grow and strengthen will ensure that the pain it can bring is properly processed. Make the choice to see discipline as growth and strength and by doing so, you'll now allow the pain to bring with it disobedience and bitterness. Instead of seeing the guardrails of God’s discipline as a fence with barbed wire, see it as the bumper rails on a bowling lane. It keeps you on track and makes it easier for you to win in life.