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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray.”—Proverbs 10:17 (NKJV)
It was C.S. Lewis who once wrote, “We want not so much a Father but a grandfather in heaven.” In other words, we desire the relational perks of knowing God without experiencing any relational discipline from God.
For many of us, grandparents have a special place in our childhood memories, largely because it meant candy, toys, ice cream, or the zoo. But when it came to our parents, it wasn’t always fun and games. They called us out, grounded us, and applied the “rod of correction” when necessary. Parents did the dirty work, not always being what we wanted, but instead what we needed.
Understand, God is a heavenly Father, not a heavenly grandfather. That means He’s not always going to be what we want, but He will be what we need. His paternal heart towards us means He’s willing to do the dirty work in our lives of calling us out and correcting us when necessary for our spiritual growth.
We see this commitment to correction in the Proverb above. The assumption is that God will always do His part to correct His people. And when this happens, they come to a crossroads to either receive or reject it. Receiving correction is God’s good way of life; rejecting correction is going astray.
Jonah, of all people, found himself there. After preaching to Nineveh and seeing them repent on a massive scale, he was fumed that God would forgive their evil just like that. Jonah was so distraught by this outpouring of mercy that he wished for his life to be taken! His heart needed correction, and God corrected him when He asked, “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4:4 NKJV).
Through this simple question, God started the process of peeling back the layers of hypocrisy in Jonah’s heart, correcting the prophet according to the same mercy He showed the people of Nineveh.
Our heavenly Father is going to do the same thing in our lives as well because that’s what a father does! He’s going to correct us when we need it. And when He does, we will choose to either receive or reject it. By His grace, may we always make the choice that leads to the way of life.
DIG: What is God willing to do as our heavenly Father?
DISCOVER: When have you experienced God’s correction?
DISPLAY: How can you ensure receiving rather than rejecting God’s correction in the future?
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.