Recently, I was speaking to a group of about 200 young people. I asked the question, “How many of you LIKE discipline?” Only one meek hand was raised. Sure, that’s right! We don’t like discipline, because we don’t know it’s value. . .Then I asked, “How many of you like the BLESSINGS of God?” And you know the result. Everybody raised his hand – some both hands!
Then I said, “Listen carefully. I want to read you a verse out of the Bible. . .” And I read, “Blessed is the man You DISCIPLINE, O Lord. . .” (Psalm 94:12a). Very simple! To receive the blessings of the Lord, we have to be disciplined by the Lord! But, praise God, being DISCIPLINED isn’t just exactly what we usually think about when we hear that word.
That verse from Psalm 94 goes on to say, “. . .the man You TEACH.” That’s the first step in discipline. Being TAUGHT. We teach a child not to touch a hot stove. And that’s the beginning of a set of actions that establishes DISCIPLINE. After you teach the child, then when he fails to obey, you REASON WITH him, explaining why he got burned, letting him see your teaching was to keep him from getting hurt – it was for his good! Then, the process is repeated – over and over again, until the pattern of behavior has been firmly set. THEN the child has become disciplined! That’s what discipline is: “A FORM OF BEHAVIOR” – a DISCIPLINE.
Now we can see what God is saying to us about the TWO LAST GENERATIONS. Because of a lack of instruction, reasoning, and TRAINING, the Church has lost two generations of it’s leaders. In the absence of good fatherly guidance from their parents, those whom God wanted in leadership have been lost. . .or neutralized by the world’s allurements, its philosophies. Paul told the church at Colosse, “Don’t be taken captive through hollow and deceptive philosophies, etc.” We must die to the basic principles of the world. In many places and in many ways, the gospel has been tarnished by “worldly principles.” Especially in the last two generations.
God is demanding that we “change our way of livin’.” The DISCIPLINE – the LIFE-PATTERN – of most young people won’t stand the pressure of the spiritual warfare we have begun to experience from the kingdom of darkness. Today’s young people have been exposed to wave after wave of ways and means of blowing their mind. Now you face the appalling possibility of total insanity for many of your peers.
Check carefully over the way you live your life – all areas! Does it stand up under the scrutiny of the Spirit of God? You just might be one of those whom God has called to lead us into the Kingdom. . .or MAYBE. . .it will be your children!
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 24, August 1982.