by Heather Bock
When I go through a period when the flame in my heart for Jesus is low, when I start going through the motions instead of clinging to Him, and when I sin and go against His Word, I expect God the Father to discipline me, to cause me to suffer.
I have some verses to back me up.
” ‘For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and he scourges every son whom He receives.’ It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? …For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:6-7, 10-11).
He does do this sometimes, causing us “sorrowful” times so we will be trained by it. I believe I lost my running (a pursuit that became too integral a part of my identity) for a while as a result of God’s discipline. I have no problem with this. Don’t I follow this very practice with my own children when they do wrong? If my daughter purposely hits my son with a hard object on his head, said object will be confiscated, especially if it is a favorite toy. I don’t mind too much when she starts screaming about the loss. I’m hoping those tears will teach a lasting lesson.
As a result, when God, my Father, chooses not to discipline me in this way and woos my sinful heart back to Him instead, I am overwhelmed and undone. I have a lot to learn as a mother to mimic this grace-filled way of drawing my wayward children to the right path. This is what He did for me during this past weekend at a conference I was blessed to attend and during the weeks that led up to it.
I already wrote some about the weeks preceding the conference here, how God gently drew me to an awareness of the state of my heart. In those weeks, He used the picture of a fire to show me that I needed the regular fuel of Bible study and prayer, and more, that I needed the bellows of the Divine Wind to blow the embers to flame. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to fall afresh on me.
Glory to God, He answered. I expected Him to wait and kindle me anew at the conference I was planning to attend. After all, it was called LIT.
He didn’t want to wait. I went into LIT already lit.
Then He showered me to overflowing with His love and blessings, but this showering didn’t serve to quench the flame but to make it burn brighter. He showered me in many ways:
I already have several groups of beloved women who are willing to pray for me and who I pray for regularly–I recently wrote about them here. However, through the conference, I was given the gift of being connected to more amazing women, one of which even lives in the same small Texas town as I do.
He reinforced the lessons He had already started teaching me before the conference, lessons I plan to post about next week (God willing), letting me know that I don’t need a conference for Him to speak into my life. He can do it anytime and anywhere.
He clearly encouraged me to continue on with my writing and social media in a personal way that I can’t shake from my mind—I keep going back to it in awe.
I believe He promised and confirmed the promise of healing from a sin with which I’ve struggled for seven years. I really hope I heard Him right on this one!
He allowed me to be one of 750 women passionate for Jesus worshiping with all their hearts. I’ve never seen so much intense worship of God by so many people at the same time. I felt like I was getting a glimpse into Heaven.
My Father didn’t humble and draw me with discipline. He humbled and drew me with blessings.
What can I do but try to bless others with the overflow of what He’s given me? And what can I do but worship my sweet Father?
I can’t help but sing Chris Tomlin’s song, “Good, Good Father,” and I hope you’re able to visit him here and sing along, too.