If the Lord does not look for faults in us, then why does He find it necessary to rebuke and discipline us? If He loves us like He says He loves us, why should He show any kind of anger towards us when we do wrong?
Revelation 3:19 says God rebukes and disciplines those He loves. Therefore, we need to be earnest and repent.
I think that most of our confusion regarding the Lord’s rebukes come from our own misunderstanding of the words we use. When we think of the word “rebuke” we think of someone being harsh and angry. However, this is not God’s nature and when he rebukes He does not use harsh words nor does He have an angry tone. Not knowing His voice causes us to be deceived into thinking God is angry and out to punish us for our “sins”. We get this understanding because we hear it in the harsh criticism of the fault finders and the thundering voice of preachers behind a pulpit!
The word “rebuke” could have been translated as “admonish”. A rebuke is a warning given in a strong tone of voice and is generally used for those who are younger than you, like a child. However, when you are dealing with someone that is a peer you would admonish them which is to give friendly but earnest advice or encouragement. As an adult you have no right to be harsh with someone else. We are clearly told in scripture to put away anger and rage. When God comes to rebuke you, He will be earnest or direct, however, His tone will be friendly and encouraging.
Whenever you want to know whether you are hearing God’s voice or that of a stranger, listen for the tone of voice the words are coming in. Jesus said that He is gentle and merciful. He instructs husbands NOT to be harsh with their wives. He would never expect us to behave one way and then He another. If He requires us to be gentle and merciful in how we deal with others, then it is because He treats us that way. It is all in the attitude and the tone in which the admonition and correction comes.
I had an opportunity to spiral out of control in my thoughts and emotions through the harsh words someone spoke to me. I did not allow it to become an argument and held my tongue but that does not mean I did not enter into a rage within me. While in this state of hurt and angry thoughts running amuck in my heart and soul, I heard the gentle voice of the Spirit saying, “Stop that, get control of your thoughts. You are giving place to your enemy.” There was no judgement or anger in His voice, but it was a rebuke and a correction and an instruction.
The Holy Spirit is there as your Helper, your Councillor, your Comforter and your Teacher. He leads you and guides you to walk and live as one of God’s sons. Why? Because He lives in you and has placed the power that upholds the universe within you. This power is in your words which have their source and origin within you. Once they come out of your mouth they contribute to the life and death of things in your own life as well as that of the world. You are a Being with tremendous power and authority.
It is because of who you are that God holds you accountable!
Individually, we have responsibility where our own lives are concerned, collectively we have a responsibility where the world is concerned. Jesus took the responsibility for sin, sickness, disease and death. He dealt with everything that has to do with Satan’s realm and released us from his control. Jesus took us out of darkness and placed us in the kingdom of light.
In taking responsibility for our sin He released to us the responsibility of righteousness.
He rebukes, corrects, disciplines and trains us to walk in righteousness. It is your deeds of righteousness, or lack of them, that you will give an account for on the day of judgement. Why? Because, on this day you will receive all your rewards which will determine your eternal position in Him. Unrighteous and sinful deeds will simply get burned up. They, NOT YOU, have no eternal value. Your righteous deeds, deeds done out of a righteous and holy conscience towards God, carry great reward and favour in eternity. If you have spent your entire Christian life living the way you want will give you the rewards of this world but in heaven you will suffer loss. It’s the classic case of “fly now” pay later. I advise you to pay now so that you can fly later!
So, the next time you think the Lord is rebuking or punishing you, take time to determine whether you are hearing His voice or not. His voice will bring you peace and will calm you down. He will bring you back into a place of self-control, love and forgiveness. His voice will restore your joy and your hope. When you respond you will find yourself praying for your enemy! 😊
May your day be filled with gentleness. 😊
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