I have been writing about the church. What is the church? What is the purpose of the church?
We saw that God loves Zion more than the tents of Jacob, though God loves Jacob. He loves those who seek Him, because they want to be His blessings. But the purpose of those who seek Him is to become Zion, the city of God. It is to become the corporate place of God’s presence in the earth.
Hebrews chapter 11 reveals a testimony of people of faith. The worlds of many men and women were framed by faith. They heard God and their worlds were transformed. In the context of being surrounded by all the witnesses in heaven, Hebrews chapter 12 describes our ability to go through the disciples of God as His children. We like the victories, but the chastisements in life are different. This is partly because we don’t understand disciple. We tend to think that correction means we are bad and we need to be good. We often think that if we go through something hard or difficult, if we are corrected or chastised in some way, it means we are bad people. This is not correct. Chastisement endears us to God and keeps us in the right path, the path of life. In the context of that, the writer of Hebrews says that Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, endured suffering. He endured hard things. He was chastised. If chastisement was for those who are bad, then Jesus would have wrongfully endured chastisement. He endured chastisement, because He was the Son of God.
Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
We are not to despise the chastening of the Lord. We are not to be discouraged when we are rebuked by God. He scourges every son He receives by allowing them to go through hard things. Jesus never sinned, but He was scourged. He never looked for love in the wrong place, but He was tempted with everything we are tempted with. God, His Father, allowed Him to be chastened. He allowed Him to be disciplined. What did that look like? It looked like being treated wrongly. God allowed His son Jesus to be despised, rejected, hated, lied about, misunderstood and many other things. All of this was for the sake of manifesting as God’s Son.
In the Movie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, there is a line in the movie that defines the reason for this disciple in a marvelous way. In the movie, the wicked uncle killed Arthur’s father and mother and the boy Arthur was raised by prostitutes in a village. He endured handicaps, hardship, poverty, and despise of diverse nature. Arthur grew up believing he was the son of a prostitute, but something inside of him drove him to be the best he could be in everything. He became the best street fighter, the best at caring for those he loved, the best saver of financial profits, and many other things. He excelled in advancing amid his situation. When he came to the age of being a young man, all the young men in the kingdom were being summoned to attempt to pull the sword, x caliber, from the stone. It had been foretold that whoever could pull the sword would be the rightful heir. The uncle wanted to discover who was the heir only so he could kill him. Arthur was brought to the stone among the other young men, and the sword came out from the rock. He was thrown to the ground by the power of the sword and the uncle called him into his chambers and says, what is it that gives you such drive? Do you know who you are? Arthur says, I am the son of a prostitute. No, you’re not, explained the illegitimate king. You are the heir. We know who you are We’ve been in your city. We heard of your reputation. We found your treasuries. What is it that gives you your drive? Arthur didn’t answer. All his life, he has had a dream about a fire devil. At the end of the movie he had to face the fire devil. He accepted the responsibility of being Arthur. During the fight, he got a revelation that the devil in his visions and dreams was really his evil uncle. He stands and he says, you asked me what gave me my drive? You did, you made me what I am. You finally give reason to the devil.
You are a son or a daughter of God. Something inside of you has called out for the greatness of who you are and none of us are illegitimate children. Even if we were naturally illegitimate by birth, we are all called to be sons and daughters of the King. We must go through chastening, we must go through difficulty. It is the difficulty that inspires us to manifest who we are. Amid the challenges of life, the testimony of Christ in us is the hope of glory. It is the hope of manifesting as true sons and daughters of God and it comes by the chastening of God in our lives.
Food for Thought,
Ted J. Hanson