Progression of the corrections of God

1 Jul

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. – II Pet 3:9

God is so patient that some think He doesn’t care… or is going way too slow.  But really, He is just taking all the time needed to keep people from “perishing”.

God’s love is always persistent and pursuing us.  He uses the simplest and most subtle ways to get our attention first.  He would love to lead us with His eye (Ps 32:8) or whisper (I Kngs 19:12) or whistle (Zech 10:8).  And if that doesn’t get favorable results, then He resorts to stronger measures.  But we must not mistake the ‘stronger measures’ for God turning His back on us.

“the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” – Heb 12:6

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
– Heb 12:11

Lest we mistake His more serious attempts to get our attention as being less than loving, we must remember that God is love (I Jn 4:8); the full embodiment of love.  No matter the means He uses, they are motivated out of His goodness and love to get us to have a different mind about whatever needs to be corrected.

“…the goodness of God leads you to repentance” – Rom 2:4

The love of God will go to great lengths to prevent us from ‘falling over the cliff’ of ‘no return’.

“Indeed God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices it.  In a dream, a vision of the night, when sound sleep falls on men, while they slumber in their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that He may turn man aside from his conduct, and keep man from pride; He keeps back his soul from the pit, and his life from passing over into Sheol.…” – Job 33:14-18

Have you ever thought about all the ways God uses to get our attention?  Well, I believe that not only does God use a myriad of ways, but there is a definite progression of intensity in His ‘invasion’ into our lives to get our attention.  The love of God will even allow resistance to bring our hearts into alignment with His.  So I think it goes something like this:

Progression of His ‘voice’ to us

1.  He speaks to our conscience
2.  We hear/see His ‘voice’ in Nature – Roms 1:20
3.  A verse jumps out when we’re reading our Bible
4.  We have a relevant dream – e.g. Nebuchadnezzar
5.  An ‘innocent’ phrase from an unaware person gets our attention 
6.  A person unaware of our issue shares a relevant dream
7.  We hear a sermon on the matter
8.  An aware friend shares loving counsel
9.  An aware friend has a dream about the issue
10.  Invitational prophecy – general / non confrontational
11.  Direct prophecy – specifics / exposure

If we persist, we risk stepping outside of Grace – Romans 1:24, 28; Ps 81:12; Ps 106:15.

12.  Circumstances – hardships / finances – from poor choices, etc
13.  Consequences from the ‘law’ – civil, moral or church take their toll

14.  Physical afflictions – consequences of unhealthy lifestyle, etc

In the New Covenant, I am increasingly convinced that God doesn’t give sickness or calamity, but I think He may allow it if we ‘demand’ it… which may look something like this: As we walk in covenant with Him, His strong hand is around us.  But if we increasingly determine to walk outside of covenant with Him, we effectively ‘dis-invite’ His covering.  We then begin to walk outside of His protection.  Hardships that come our way may be the ones we’ve allowed the enemy to perpetrate upon us because we’ve chosen to walk out from under God’s protection.

“… yield unto God …” Roms 6:13

This hurts our Father’s heart, just like it did the prodigal son’s father.  In the same way, our Father is always reaching out to us and is ready at the first signs of our returning, to receive us with open arms.

It just makes good sense to yield to God early on when His corrections are gentle.  Who wants to be ‘arrested’ by stronger methods?

He’s always there waiting, because His love never stops.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” – Jer 31:3

nothing can separate us from the love of God….” – Roms 8:38,39

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” – Acts 3:19

Consider this: Wouldn’t it be alarming to not experience the intervention of God when we’re moving in a wrong direction?  That would probably mean that we’re on some ‘prodigal detour’ and will likely have to experience some consequences of our own actions until (like the prodigal son) we’re sufficiently motivated to return and yield to God.  God forbid that we resist this long.

But thanks be to God, we now understand that God’s pursuit of us is motivated by love, which makes our yielding so much easier.

To be reminded about how much your Father loves you, click here to hear the song Everlasting Love, which I wrote and our family recorded on our Heart Songs CD.

— MLH

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Progression of the corrections of God”

  1. Scott Phipps July 2, 2017 at 1:53 PM #

    Nice article! Grace with action, the winning combination. Grace is ‘always’ there, but need to allow it to plow up and fertilize the ground so we change/grow….THANKS

    • Mark Hendrickson July 3, 2017 at 1:08 AM #

      Thanks Scott. Think about you… enjoyed seeing you earlier this year. Let’s do it again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: