Fathers Produce Strength of Will
Hebrews 12 presupposes three fathering leaders: Father in Heaven, natural fathers, and spiritual fathers. The chapter addresses natural and spiritual fathers and those for whom they provide fathering leadership. It compares Father’s approach to maturing inheritors with physical and spiritual fathers. It sets Father’s discipline as the context for natural and spiritual fathering.
The highlighted theme is painful discipline. Painful discipline produces strength of will to endure.
(Don’t worry, we can work the Hebrew and Greek around in some way to avoid what it means! Moderns will feel better. We don’t want anyone to jump to the conclusion that Father beats on authentic inheritors, do we? The chapter quotes Old Testament verses. The chapter is probably written in Hebrew and translated later into common Greek. If we work hard, we can tone this down. “Father taps us on the head to indicate His unconditional love. He gives us whatever we want whenever we want it.” That should work, right?)
Problem. The Hebrew and Greek words mean “beat the ever-livings out of you.” That’s a problem! We cannot force the words to say something painless when pain is the aim of the whooping.
Father causes pain to mature authentic inheritors. Father uses suffering to produce endurance. The Bible says heavenly, natural, and spiritual fathers all do this.
The word is mastigoó. “I beat the ever-livings out.” Or, “I beat the stuffing out.” The word envisions a person strapped to a pole or frame. God sends severe pain in the best eternal interests of the believer. He doesn’t physically beat children. Physical is a breeze compared with Heavenly Father’s discipline. It means contact with the backside of your lap to strengthen your will is God’s plan.
God creates people. God is an expert on human behavior. God disciplines to alter internal attitude and behavioral patterns. God is right. God knows this works. God has the strength of will to discipline.
If you do not, your leadership does not represent God’s fathering.
“How much more should we endure Heavenly Father’s authentication process?” We learned endurance from natural fathering discipline. Heavenly Father’s is more intense of productive, at a deeper level.
Natural fathers provide discipline that is physically painful. This is not figurative. This training procedure is not abusive. This is training. Anyone who thinks the Bible is silent on physical discipline within the family is laughing in God’s face. They are misrepresenting God as parents if they dismiss the Bible principles and processes for parenting.
Spiritual fathers partner with and represent heavenly Father in this painful process. They join in the testing.
You do not discipline everyone. You discipline those you love. Even then, the context points to inheritors in preparation for positioning.
You are running a race. You must finish. Without training that produces endurance, you will quit. You must develop endurance. You must not quit.
You need endurance. Submit to the process. “In your struggle against sin, you have not resisted to the point of bleeding.” You have had it pretty easy, but you should know that the endurance tests increase. To reach higher levels of endurance, you endure more significant pain.
Father has a plan! Father tests children to find authentic inheritors. (We know He is talking about inheritance because He concludes that Esau is not an inheritor. Esau never passed the tests. He is the example of someone unworthy of the legacy. Fathers cannot tolerate that spiritual condition.)
Father beats the ever-livings out of adopted children. He does so to strengthen the will of authentic inheritors.
Fathering produces endurance. Heavenly, natural, and spiritual fathering produces endurance in authentic inheritors. Fathers discipline. Discipline produces endurance. Discipline produces strength of will to continue. Fathers produce the force of will necessary to persist and reach fullness.
Fathering discipline produces personal discipline in partnership with Heavenly discipline.
Anyone not disciplined or avoiding discipline is not in inheritance preparation. Fathers prepare and position for inheritance. All kingdom leaders lead with a fathering spirit.
You should love discipline. You should seek fathering. You should endure expert exercises of pain that expand your strength of will.
“As you endure suffering, God is responding to you as submitted, mature sons.” (Hebrews 12:7) The “submitted” part of this meaning comes from the word itself. It means “to bring an offering.” God is responding to your submission as a living sacrifice as He would to an authentic inheritor.
Your response measures your benefit. Father is at work. Natural fathers laid a foundation. You are a mature inheritor in preparation to function. Spiritual fathers join the process. While you outgrow the need for natural fathering discipline. You never outgrow Heavenly or spiritual fathering discipline.
Submit. Endure. Embrace. In preparation, posture yourself as a receiver. Cherish the strength of will it produces.
Notice that I have left the Father loves you part to last. Moderns have developed deep confusion about “love.” They learn more about “love” from all the wrong sources. This deep pool of delusion requires correction to the same depth of its deception.
Love as lust is the predominate exchange-rated relational dynamic. The idea of love that doesn’t pay me back is obsolete. Moderns mock the idea that love might demand endurance. Surface slush and emotional flights of delusion dominate perceptions of love. Without a radical shift in thinking, Hebrews 12 gets cut out of modern Bibles.
God’s love is His passion for purpose. His love seeks the best and highest for the object of His passion. He didn’t create and redeem inheritors to meet some need. God needs no one else. God isn’t weeping about rejection because the spirit of rejection has gained a hold on God! God weeps about purpose. God gets angry about wasted purpose. God gets involved in producing purpose.
So, passion for purpose and painful discipline are entirely compatible. God isn’t less loving when He is whooping an inheritor with His whip. (That’s what the Bible says.) God isn’t being ugly when He leaves an inheritor in satanic upheaval. God isn’t irresponsible when His leads His children into a pursuit of purpose that runs them face to face with His enemies.
The highest of that mature son requires this process. God has the strength of will to pursue that process. That process produces purpose in the authentic inheritor. It fulfills God’s eternal purposes. It is the win-win of passion for a purpose that motivates consistent, urgent, radical discipline.
Your response is submission. Submit to a process of personal pathos that produces your ultimate maturity. In that maturity, you will build the highest of both own Divinely-created purpose.