Discipline, Judgment, or Justice?

Many Christians want to know if the difficult situations they are in are “judgments” from God for something they may have done. It’s an honest question and one which deserves some understanding if we are to walk in both peace and righteousness before the Lord.

In facing difficult times through the years I have learned to first go to the Father and ask, “Did I do something to cause this?” I then put myself as honestly before the Lord as best I know how. When He shows me (and He does show an honest heart) something I might have done…I’m quick to repent. If He shows me nothing, then I am confident in the fact that the situation is basically the result of still living in a fallen world, or an attack of the enemy. Either way, God is on my side and I know I will get through.

However, we must take this deeper because some of the situations we find ourselves in could be a mixture of both the Father’s discipline AND the enemy overstepping his bounds. In other words the devil tries to take advantage of the situation to do what he does best: kill, steal, and destroy.

How do I discern what I must and must not “take”? I’m glad you asked.

Principle #1. The Father has already “judged” you in Christ Jesus.

You were found guilty of your crime. The judgment was death. Jesus stepped up to take your place! That’s called mercy. God then sees the judgment has been carried out and looks at us and declares us righteous. That’s called grace. Because genuine children of God have received both mercy and grace…they are never under the “judgment” of God.

Principle #2. The Father DOES discipline His children as a good Father. (See Hebrews 12:4-11)

Discipline is different from judgment. Judgment “executes”. Disciplines produces peace and experiential righteousness in our lives. Discipline is also “measured”. In other words God knows exactly what is needed to produce obedience back into our lives. Not too little, not too much. He is after all the perfect Father. Loving discipline is NEVER intended to destroy you, but rather to correct you, build you up and restore you to right fellowship with the Father.

Principle #3. The devil will at times seek to “overstep” his bounds when a child of God finds themselves in the disciplinary process.

Again, discipline is to bring us restored abundant life, the devil comes only to kill, steal and destroy. The devil has a way of exploiting things beyond their intended purpose. He has a way of assailing us beyond the Lord’s discipline. God tells us this through the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 54:15–17 (NASB95)
15 “If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me.
Whoever assails you will fall because of you.
16 “Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals
And brings out a weapon for its work;
And I have created the destroyer to ruin.
17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;
And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.

…Vs. 15 is clear that when the assault is so fierce as to seek to destroy you, it is not from God and He will not allow that thing which has assailed you to prosper. God’s promise is to vindicate.

Principle #4. Is the principle of justice.

God will render justice on our behalf. Notice I didn’t say “judgment”, I said “justice”. A right ruling. This is best seen in the two harlots standing before Solomon beginning 1 Kings 3:16. Both had babies, but one died. The harlot whose child had died “stole” the baby of the other. There were no witnesses. They stood before wise King Solomon for a “ruling” as to who should keep the child. Through incredible discerning abilities, Solomon ruled in the right mother’s favor and her child was returned to her. There is no mention of judgment of the other woman…but justice had been served. Vindication had come to the right one.

My friend, I don’t know what situation you may find yourself in today…but don’t turn from faith in a loving heavenly Father. If it’s discipline, REJOICE because He loves you that much. Yet be discerning and stand against every assault of the enemy who may seek to overstep his bounds in the situation. Trust God for vindication in your situation. Not judgment, simply justice. He has a “right ruling” if you are willing to go through the process!

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