Deuteronomy 8:1-5 (NLT)
“Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors. Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell. Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the LORD your God disciplines you for your own good.”
How easily we forget the goodness of God expressed in our life each day? Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father in His Great Love for us whether acknowledged or not, it is greedily accepted by His People. (James 1:17) However, just as the Children of Israel of long ago we today cry out for more and more from the Lord but give Him less and less of our broken down lives. Have you forgotten that it was God who created you giving you the breath of life? Has it escaped us that it is the Lord who has good things planned with a future and hope for all you are called by His Name exchanging all the bad for good in our life? Every moment of our life has been provided for and scripted for prosperity yet we struggle in the daily grind bound by the oppression of debt and self-reliance? Surely this is not what God intended for His Beloved People when Jesus gave us the Keys to His Kingdom restoring a Robe of Righteousness so that we could boldly access Heaven’s Throne. (Matthew 6:19; Isaiah 61:10; Ephesians 3:12) Be careful to obey the commands that I have given you today…for most people, God loses them right there. Without knowledge of God and no self-discipline regarding the matter, people perish. (Hosea 4:6) God promised that through willingness, obedience and righteousness people would live, multiply, enter and occupy which are all terms of acquisition but not a fitting description of the Body of Christ today. It is time to remember. For forty years, the Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness as the Lord tried to reign in His Unruly Kids. What a task! He tried to teach them to live by His Word that comes from His Mouth rather than the things of this world. But what they forgot in their rebellion against their Father is that in that time their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not blister or swell. The Lord disciplines you for your own good because He loves you. He wants you to make the right choice in blessing or cursing and even more importantly when it comes to life and death. Grace took the punishment out of discipline but a loving Father cannot help but guide and direct their children through life. Have you forgotten that you are a Child of the King? To whom much is given, much is required. (Luke 12:48)
Hosea 13:4-6 (NLT)
“I have been the LORD your God ever since I brought you out of Egypt. You must acknowledge no God but me, for there is no other savior. I took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me.”
How many of us come to God in the midst of complete brokenness accepting His Restoration and Renewal only to leave God once we feel better or back in control? It is an endless cycle that never produces God’s purpose just quick fixes. Soon we are running back to God in the midst of more mess and problems. How many times have we tasted the goodness of the Lord once satisfied forgotten all about Him? Don’t beat yourself up. It is not want God wants or the way that He will treat you. The Lord God wants to bless you. He desires more than anything to prosper you. He has already provided everything that you will need. What He is striving for is obedience to His Will, Way and Word found in living by His Commandments! He does not want to punish you when you step out of line but align your life with His Word to open the Windows of Heaven and pour out your intended inheritance into your life. The problem is that we expect God to act like our earthly father rather than Almighty God. Sinful desires overtake spiritual confidence due to a lack of knowledge allowing us to be led astray to remain in the wilderness for long periods of drought and famine. (Psalm 106:13-14) We want the Promises of God but forget about our part of the bargain or covenant. (Psalm78:10-12) Attempting to take advantage of God like robbers climbing over the fence rather entering through the Gateway (Jesus) as instructed. The Children of God exchanged their Glorious God for a statue of a grass eating bull…what have you exchanged God’s Glory for? (Psalm 106:20-22) Given the choice will you choose to remember or live in forgetfulness?
Isaiah 49:14-16 (NLT)
Yet Jerusalem says, “The LORD has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.” “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.”
God has not forgotten you. I believe that thanks to Jesus Christ our names are inscribed on God’s Hands along with the Children of Israel. He sees the squalor that we have chosen to remain in and I am sure that it pains His Heart as it did the prodigal father to hear stories of his son feasting with pigs. However, God honors our free will to choose. He will not force you to leave the things of this world behind or accept His Gracious Goodness. It is completely up to you! But always remember no matter where life takes you…God has not forgotten you. He has reserved a place for you! Your name is inscribed on the palm of His Hand written in the Blood of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 119:175-176 (NLT)
Let me live so I can praise you, and may your regulations help me. I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands.
The Lord has expressed the deepest affection for the lost sheep. All of Heaven rejoices in their return. (Matthew 18:11-13) Not exactly the picture of the executioner that the enemy would like to make us think God is. We forget God most often because we do not know or understand His Commands or His Intention behind Instruction. Only those who love and trust the Lord will ever come to understand God’s Word is intended for prosperity and goodness never for our destruction. His Word points us in the right direction. It causes us to turn from sin and walk in right standing with God which allows every promised and blessing to take place in our life as the gap widens between us and our sin. (Ezekiel 18:21-24) Obedience leads us to repentance but it is God’s Goodness that draws us to His Side. Intimacy occurs when our fear of God turns into loving respect for Him. We are supposed to die to sin and our wicked ways when accepting a new life in Jesus Christ. However, we never fully make it out of the water before second guessing sacrificing the known for the unknown. (Romans 6:2-4) God wants us to be fully transformed leaving the past behind and fully embracing the future so that He can get His Goodness and Hope to us. (Jeremiah 29:11) We find this by wholeheartedly seeking the Lord. (Jeremiah 29:13) “I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge. I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees.” (Psalm 119:66-68)
After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.
Discipline is training or conditions imposed for the improvement of physical powers and/or self-control. It is considered to be improved behavior and the systematic training in obedience to authority. God wants to improve your life through discipline that continually allows us to choose life over death and blessing over cursing. This knowledge is acquired through His Word. But that’s not all, the Lord has given us His Spirit to assist in the transformation of mind, soul and body. We are in a struggle with sin. The Word (Jesus) overcame sin and we can too when totally reliant on the Lord and bound by His Commandments to seek Him and trust Him more. He is the only hope that we have to make it into Eternity, but have we forgotten? Discipline keeps us remembering all the Goodness of God and seeking more of Him every single day until it becomes a habit. A habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it becomes involuntary. There you have the purpose of the Lord’s Divine Discipline. Serving God becomes involuntary when it becomes a habit in our life. This is when we exchange our old life for a brand new one! ”For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
I Corinthians 9:26-27 (NLT)
So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
Accept the Lord’s Discipline today. He is guiding you to His Promises, Provisions and Prosperity for your life. He only has the very best in mind for you stop settling for something less. It is time to take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Dig into the Word. Stir up His Spirit inside of you! There is so much more to life than what you see. Have you forgotten?
Proverbs 10:17 (NLT)
People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray.
Proverbs 12:1 (NLT) To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.
Isaiah 38:16 (NLT)
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live!