Hebrews 12:10-11 is a written contrast of our earthly father and our heavenly Father. It says, “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”
Here is a quote in chapter 11 of Freedom! From Past Hurts. “How did we respond to our earthly father when he called our name? By honestly answering these questions, we get a clear picture of what perceptions were formed.” Then I listed twenty questions. Here is one: Did he discipline you in anger?
Countless times I have heard folks relate their trial to God’s punishment. How we were disciplined by our earthly father can carry over as lying misconceptions of God. To make this really clear, Jesus bore the punishment that was rightfully ours. Psalm 103:10 says, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.”
Hebrews 12:11 clearly states God’s purpose of discipline. He does it for our profit. It is part of our progressive sanctification. His goal is that we may exemplify Him through our behavior. Verse 12 is key in our understanding of our response. The end of the verse says, “…to those who have been trained by it.” It’s a tragedy to go through a trial and not receive the benefits the Lord desired. Every trial gives us a benefit that we lacked.
Trials are divinely orchestrated. They have God’s purpose for our lives indelibly stamped on them. The Lord uses our trials to expose and purge hidden lies that would undermine our faith. He reveals what He sees, but that we have no conscious knowledge of. My life radically changed when I fell into the six foot ravine in 1977.
The Lord used that deep trial to woo me to Himself. My relationship with the Lord at that time was very superficial. The lies I believed about myself were my reality. The truth of God’s love for me seemed like a lie. My heart-lies thoroughly blocked my understanding. That fall stopped me in my tracks. Through that inability to function, He drew me into a life changing journey of intimacy.
The blocks to intimacy with the Lord will vary with each person. There is a common denominator though. Our parent’s upbringing affected the way they brought us up. Our experiences shaped our perceptions. The lies we believed were planted by satan to war against the true knowledge of God.
Every trial that the Lord brings into our lives, is essential to our spiritual growth. We never arrive. We will be on a sanctifying journey until the moment He calls us home. I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to show you the lies you believe that are blocking you from intimate communion. Then, as you read His word daily, be on the lookout for His truth that will set you free from the lies that bind you. The Holy Spirit will lead you into truth that will become your reality.