There comes a time in our trials where we have to turn to God and say, “What do you want from me? How can I change?” We are so consumed with what is happening to us, we forget that God wants to do something in us. God waits for us to turn to him so he work out his will in us. There’s some stuff in us that need to come out. He will use bad things to do good things in us.
The discipline of God is that God loves me enough to keep me on a short leash. My wife and I tried to balance our love with discipline. One time, when our son Timothy was fourteen, he said he was going to a friends house to spend the night. Mary and I were going out on a date that same night. Before we left, the Lord spoke to me that Timothy had gone to a movie with a girl that would hurt him if she stayed in his life. So we prayed and we ended up going to the same movie theater—hundreds of them to chose from in the city—same movie and sat in the row behind my son and his girlfriend. Why? Because God loved my son too much to let him build an affection for the wrong person, even at fourteen.
You know that God loves you when you don’t get away with things. He loves you. He wants the best for you. I would rather be easily convicted, smitten by an act of sin, than have that sin get control of me.
We have to build in our heart such a revelation of the goodness of God, that when he disciplines us, we don’t change our theology. We discipline kids because we love them. We tell them not to touch the stove because we don’t want them to be burned. We don’t do it because we hate them. God tells us to not touch things. He says do touch sex outside of marriage. Not because he doesn’t like it. He created it. He knows it will burn us, hurt us.
You have to trust God, that when God says “no” he has a better “yes” in your future. Every “no” today is a promise of a better “yes” tomorrow. Discipline is not fun in the moment. But it is a tool in the hand of God to shape us. Remember: the more tender your heart is, the easier it is for God to be regulation and chastisement to your life. He can adjust your life easier. He simply touches your heart.