How You Respond To God’s Reproof Matters

shutterstock_111482312-smaller“I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.” – Habakkuk‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭

We all, like children make mistakes, and God knows this. That’s why Jesus said that at His leaving, He would send us a teacher, the Holy Spirit. God is ever patient to teach, even through our mistakes, even by our mistakes, as long as we are willing to learn. For what good is a teacher to someone to refuses to learn His lessons? Therefor, it is not so much our mistakes that cause the Holy Spirit to depart from us, but rather our reaction to His reproof of them.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” – Hebrews‬ ‭12:5-8‬ ‭

If we are God’s children He will correct us because He loves us and wants us to finish the race of faith unto eternal glory. For as Paul so clearly stated, it’s not who starts the race that wins but who finishes it. To which he warns that even he, after all his preaching to others, if he not learn the lessons of the Lord’s reproof and put himself in subjection to them that he might avoid the pitfalls of sin, that even he himself would be cast away and fail to receive the prize that only comes once your race is run.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:24-27‬ ‭

Therefor, if you stumble and fall during the race and He shouts at you from the finish line to get back up, watch your footing, and avoid the stumbling blocks, it’s only because He loves you and wants you to make it to the finish line where He is. He can see the whole course, we can barely see where we’re putting our next step so remember that often times His reproofs come to not only teach us not to make the mistakes of our past again but also to avoid the pitfalls and snares being laid before us by the enemy. In this is the great love of His reproof manifested. It is also why it greatly offends Him when we react with pride and rebellion against His loving reproofs and it’s good intentions for us. You see, it’s not as much the sin that He is concerned about (the stumble) but the consequence of it (falling into the pit), the failure to complete the race and meet Him at the finish line.

“Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.” – Isaiah‬ ‭24:17‬ ‭

“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” – Isaiah‬ ‭14:15‬ ‭

An example of this can be seen in King Saul’s life. God told him to destroy all the Amalekites and take no spoils, but Saul made some mistakes. He took a lot of spoils and kept many of this enemy alive. This is a type of holding on to people and things in your like that God has told you to get rid of. God was not pleased and sent the prophet Samuel to give a word of reproof to Saul for Him. Now, God knows we make mistakes, His displeasure was in knowing how this sin of disobedience was just a trap of the enemy to destroy Saul. His love compelled Him to correct Saul! However, Saul’s responds to the reproof was one of pride, arrogance, refusal, and rebellion. This was an insult in the face of God’s great loving intentions, it grieved the Holy Spirit and because of this God removed His Holy Spirit from Saul.

“But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, ….” – 1 Samuel‬ ‭16:14‬ ‭

You see what Saul failed to understand in his pride is that God could see the whole course and he knew that by Saul’s refusal to kill the Amalekite would in the end result in the Amalekite killing Saul. If you won’t kill the sin and rebellion in your heart it will eventually kill you, because the wages of sin is death and a wage is something that you yourself earned by the work you did. It is the fruit of your labor and Jesus said that we will all be judged before God, the Angels, and all the saints by our fruits. So allow Him to reprove your actions and receive that reproof with sincerity, humility, and thankfulness for the loving intent that it was given unto you that it might restore you to the race from which you have fallen.

“Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:19-21‬ ‭

Now eventually David replaced Saul as King, but David made some mistakes too. However, his response to God’s reproof of those mistakes was very different then Saul’s. David’s responds was full of humility, brokenness, faith, love, concern, and above all an eagerness to receive the correction, learn the lesson, and get back on the path that God had laid before him.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” – Psalms‬ ‭51:10-12‬ ‭

Where Saul insisted on going his own way and taking his own course, David (having veered off track) received the Lord’s correction with gladness and quickly got back on track that He might finish the race. Remember that it’s not those who start the race that receive the prize (the gift of eternal life in the glorious presence of Almighty God) but those who finish it. So when you get tripped up along the way, listen to the reproof of your Heavenly Father, He’s a good coach, He wants to help you win. Yet if you, in pride, refuse His loving council thinking that you know better and can see and understand what’s around you as well as He can, then He will depart and allow you to take your own course right into the pit, for pride always comes before a fall.

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” – Proverbs‬ ‭16:18-19‬ ‭

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.” – Hosea‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭

“I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.” – Habakkuk‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭


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