Wisdom and discipline
God’s activity or movement in our life is to bring stuff to pass. God intervenes to help us arrive at places in our destiny. God makes certain things happen. God disciplines us to teach us the principles of wisdom.
I. Keys for finding wisdom for our daily living
1. Must fear the Lord. Start with God. – Proverbs 1:7: 7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. We often hear that the fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom and Knowledge, but they often forget the portion of the scripture that talks about fear. We must fear God or have reverence for God and be open to accept whatever God has to do to get us where we are supposed to be.
2. Learn wisdom from those who fear the lord. When we look at how others went through circumstances in the scriptures, it helps us deal with our trials. Proverbs 1:8-17: 8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 9For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. 10My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. 11If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: 12Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: 13We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: 14Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: 15My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: 16For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. 17Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.-Why would somebody trying to catch birds then say to the birds, “Come fly into my net”? We have to realize that Satan has nets set out to capture us. People without wisdom do not realize that the nets are set out to hurt us. When you look back over your life, you ought to be thankful that we didn’t have to go through what others went though. When we saw others go through what they did, it caused us to go another way. We thank God that because of what we saw, we applied wisdom to our situation. Everything that happened to others could have happened to us.
3. Answer wisdoms call-wisdom is found in your daily choices. – Proverbs 1:20: 20Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: – Wisdom is screaming and calling out in the street for us. Wisdom is trying to get your attention. We have to answer when wisdom is calling us. If wisdom is calling us, then perhaps we on are on the wrong path.
4. Remember the law of the harvest-consequences follows your actions. If you do an act, you will have a consequence of that act. Proverbs 1:22-33: 22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. – Wisdom says although you refused to hear her calling, she will have the last laugh. Wisdom will laugh, when you are overtaken. People that adhere to the call of wisdom don’t have to go to bed looking over their shoulder. They will go to bed in peace. Everything we deal with is in the bible. If we sow negativity, it will come back on us. We want the harvest in the form of blessings, when we give our offering, but we don’t want the harvest that comes as a consequence of our negative sowing. Remember you always reap more than you sow Talk about folk (sowing negatively) and see what you harvest. Sow unfaithfulness and see what you will harvest.
5. Let authentic love and loyalty led you every day. Make it your main objective-Our loyalty to God, guides our lives. Your loyalty has to be stronger than your unwise choices. When we are loyal to God and not our unwise choices, we are saying we love God too much to get caught up into negative stuff.
6. Depend on God alone; in everything rely on God alone. Proverbs 3:5-8: 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
7. Remember that wealth and our possessions are not ours to own. Everything belongs to God and what we have is ours on loan. – This is one of the wisest principles you can get. You don’t own any of what you think you own. We take ownership of stuff God never intended us to take ownership of. Again, it is just a lone. Ex – None of us reading this was rich as Job was in the bible. If we really study biblical history and make a contemporary comparison, you will see some amazing stuff. If you were to try to make a contemporary comparison on Job’s wealth, you would see that Job would probably be richer than Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey together. Imagining taking this kind of wealth, the Lord takes it away, and Job still declares that the Lord gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. You would have a greater appreciate of his view of his attitude about the situation after making this comparison. God will use the thing you have gotten attached to and use it to discipline you and put you on the right path to wisdom. Ex-I’m not going to tithe, because it is my money! When the curse comes in your house, you will realize that you could have given 10% to God, but instead, you end up paying it out anyway through things that have gone wrong in your household in the form of a curse. Some people withheld their tithe from God just to see the dentist get that same money they withheld from God.
8. Sometimes you have to lead up to wisdom through instruction in righteousness. – Proverbs 3:11-18: 11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. 13Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. 17Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. – Solomon makes a connection between discipline and wisdom. In verse 13, he says a person is happy from their gain of wisdom. .
II. Why is discipline necessary?
Ephesians 6:1-4: 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
1. What gives God the right to discipline us? It is because the Lord disciplines those whom he loves.-Proverbs 3:12: 12For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. God chastens us, because he loves us. If he didn’t love us, he would let us just get away with stuff. Ex- We often ask how we know when the Lord is speaking to us or showing us stuff. Nobody ever asks how we know when the Lord is whipping us. We don’t ask, because we know when he is whipping us.
2. Love is the foundation and prerequisite of discipline. This suggests that there must be a difference between discipline and punishment.
a. Difference between discipline and punishment.
b. Punishment is the sentence or verdict handed out the when the judgment of guilt has been established. Punishment is the reprimand or the penalty imposed.
c. Discipline seeks to correct, instruct or bring about a change in the behavior of the guilty. Furthermore, it will often require some type of restitution to acknowledge guilt of the offense. With punishment, you have been found guilty, and you go to jail for example. Sometimes punishment can make you bitterer and as a result, it can make you more refined sinner. Discipline seeks to see what is wrong with you. It says I won’t let you go, until I see a change in you. Discipline says it is going to cost you something, because you have to make a mends for you’re what you did. Punishment is like your tell your kid, “Go to your room and don’t do nothing!” Discipline is whipping you, but then talking to you and finding out where you got the shoes from that you stole and finding out what is wrong with you by trying to get at the root of the problem. Punishment is she pregnant; sit her down (from working in the church)! Discipline is you about you not wanting to see the person caught in the same thing again. Everyone that did bad stuff is not a criminal. If you think about it, we all did some bad stuff and if we would have been caught, we could have ended up in one of those orange jumpsuits or prison strips. It was by the grace of God, we weren’t caught.
3. The goal of discipline is to bring about repentance. Proverbs 13:24: 24He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.-This is about repentance. Proverbs 22:15: 15 A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.-Folly, is a word you might find in the scriptures for foolishness. This scripture says discipline will drive foolishness far from you. You can be a spiritual baby and you have to be treated by God as your parents treated you when you are a baby. God has a right to discipline us, because his son went to cavalry on our behalf. God disciplines us so we don’t have to suffer the death penalty like Jesus did. Remember the wages of sin is death. God whips us, so we won’t die.
III. Four ways God disciplines.
1. God will use his word, the bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17: 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works., Psalm 119:33-34: 33Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. 34Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.- This scripture asks God to teach us or show us how to obey God’s word. If you need help obeying God’s word, he will turn his word into a chastening rod. Ex-You come to church and your Pastor doesn’t know what you have been going through. You need a word to help you keep your life from falling apart. God speaks through your Pastor and you look at your Pastor like who told him what you were going through. God uses the word to discipline us. Everyone wants a word about how God is going to bless you; but God often uses the word to discipline us too.
2. God uses spiritual authority. Hebrews 13:17:17Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.- We have to learn how to learn to submit to authority, because we love God. Ex- On the job, you have a Boss, a Supervisor or Department Heads. You Boss gives the word to the supervisor. The Supervisor comes to you and you get an attitude, because the Boss is the one that hired you, not the Supervisor. You begin to wonder if the Boss really gave the instruction or is the Supervisor on a power trip. This is called delegated authority. We struggle with this in the church too. People wonder if the Pastor really said what the Deacons or Ministry Leaders told them to do.. If you don’t submit to delegated authority, when it is your time to be the delegated authority, you will reap that same disobedience as you gave them.
3. God uses leadership. Timothy 4:2: 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.- This simply to preach when they want to hear what you have to say and when they don’t want to hear it. Titus 2:15: 15These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. -these are things you should teach. – When God raises you up, on your job, career or whatever, you need to know he didn’t raise you up to compromise with people. He needs you to do the right thing. Ex-Bishop is an observer of leadership. Ex- Bishop explains that he is a follower of leadership and the way that it is done. He actually studies the way people lead. He explains that he observed that most of the leadership that the President has been receiving is because he doesn’t compromise on the principle. You have to be willing to say, this is what it is going to be, because it is right. When God raises you up, like a preacher, sometimes you will encourage and sometimes you will have to rebuke. If your friends can’t accept it, then they are too familiar with their leadership.
4. He will discipline us through our finances. You got to stop blaming the recession. Psalm 39:11: 11When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.- God will mess with the things that man holds dearest. Many of you will agree, if you want to get at us as a folk, mess with our money. You can mess with a whole lot of stuff, but messing with our money, messes with our security. God has to sometimes snatch stuff from us just to show us who is in control. Proverbs 13:18: 18Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. – Correction is honored, otherwise we fall to poverty. Imagine all the money that came in your hand and went to foolishness that you could really use right now. That makes you sick just to think about it. Unwise decisions leads to poverty. This is why you can’t give a fool money. You can see someone on the side of road that says they want food and if you go to McDonalds and get them #2, they won’t be there when you get back. They are fools. They want the money for folly and not for food as they proclaimed. God can break you down and you will say, “Lord I need you now”. That is one of the things that you have to understand. If you walk in Devine Order, you will not end up in poverty. Simple, but we miss it all the time.
5. God will dicipline us through difficult circumstances and hardships. God will say our need a good old fashion trail. Just pray for your friend that won’t come to church. Pray that they will get life to threther, and they at they will be able to handle what god will throw on them.
6. Heb 12:7Hebrews 12:7: 7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?-, 119:71: 71It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.-this scripture explains that it was good that we were disciplined, so that we might learn. Ex-We wouldn’t be at bible study, if we hadn’t gone through some stuff. We wouldn’t trust God if we hadn’t lost our job. If this thing had not happened to our family, we would not be as close as we are.
Our response is usually, anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven, but the truth is, it is all about our response. You can ignore God or listen to him. Proverbs 3:11-12: 11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.-Do not ignore God’s discipline.
Revelation 3:19: 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.-God disciplines who he loves. Everything Bishop talked about in the last few weeks has been concerning wisdom, but it means nothing if you don’t follow the principles that you learned. You will be confronted with unwise decisions when finish reading this. Learn how to submit to God’s wisdom and discipline. When you look at wisdom literature books, you realize the story of Job is dated before the book of Genesis. You have to wonder at what point Job really submitted to God’s discipline. Job didn’t have anything to be disciplined for when he lost everything. God used him to show us how to handle things. At what point did job get to that place, where he understood what God was really up to. We see throughout a couple of verses, he was still questioning God, because he cursed the day he was born. He was still struggling with God whipping him. When Job said, thou he slay me, yet will I trust in him, he had really submitted to God’s discipline. Even though God was allowing this, Job was saying he has to trust God until this thing was over. It was Chapter 14 when Job gets the revelation, because he says a man born of women is but a few days full of trouble. He said there is the how of a tree, that though it be cut down, he will sprout again. God won’t let a child of God to be cut down and not come back. God will let the scent of rain come down, and the simple smell of rain will let the tree bud again. Thank God for whipping us.
Job 14 : 1Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. 2He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. 3And doth thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? 4Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. 5Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; 6Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day. 7For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. 8Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; 9Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.