3 So consider carefully how Jesus faced such intense opposition from sinners who opposed their own souls [be their own stumbling block] so that you won’t become worn down and cave in under life’s pressures. 4 After all, you have not yet reached the point of sweating blood in your opposition to sin.
5 And have you forgotten his encouraging words spoken to you as his children? He said,
“My child, don’t underestimate the value
of the discipline and training of the Lord God,
or get depressed when he has to correct you [when he puts you under his scrutiny].
For the Lord’s training of your life
is the evidence of his faithful love [a motherly nurturing love for those he is sanctifying].
And when he draws you to himself,
it proves you are his delightful child”[a child he receives].
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul wants us to remember we really can be our own worst enemy; our own stumbling block when it comes to enjoying abundant life with the heavenly Father. I once read a quote, “Make sure your worst enemy is not living between your own two ears.” How we think about Father God, Christ’s authority as the Word, and the role of the Holy Spirit makes all the difference when it comes to living in right standing with God. As believers, we are to live in a way that opposes sin. That is how Christ lived—his perfect example for us—and how we are now to live in his Spirit as we are being perfected or made spiritually mature. We must never forget this world is our “training ground” and God’s correction is the greatest part of what it means to be a son or daughter of the Most High. Correction of our souls is God’s purest love for us in action; as we cooperate we are invited to enjoy spiritual intimacy with the heart of God.
No one loves being corrected or having our souls scrutinized by God. The Light of Truth dispels the darkness. Satan wants to hide in our souls, but the Word expels—deprives Satan of power—because the Spirit exalts the Word operating in our lives. Honestly, there is pain involved in Father’s correction. We hold onto sin [trying to legitimize it in our thoughts] while the Word wants to curse it and separate us from it. We literally fight against God during these times. Let’s makes sure we have things correct between our two ears!
Prayer: Father, I know you want to renew my thoughts so I can be made righteous by your grace. Accepting Christ’s sacrifice for me begins my journey, but spiritually walking with you each day brings the ongoing correction I need. Jesus, may I leave my selfish desires behind today and embrace the power outflowing your resurrection. In Jesus’ name. Amen.