"Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." ...Hebrews 12:6

 It seems clear that Spiritual vision by itself is not enough to transform a life. Consider Jacob's ladder. Because of his crooked behaviour, Jacob had lost his home and all his possessions. Yet in spite of this, God favoured Him at Bethel with a vision so marvellous that he was moved to exclaim, "How dreadful is this place!" The promises that accompanied it were full and unconditional. Yet contrast with them the words of his response to God: "If … if … if … then I will .. .." Even with God he wanted to bargain and do a business deal! He was the same unchanged Jacob. How much we Christians are like this!

Soon, however, he was to become involved with Laban, who was just as corrupt as himself! By this and other means, God took Jacob through years of the most fruitful discipline. The spoilt son of the house became a harshly treated labourer. But God's way is always right, and it was a new and transformed Jacob that found his way back to Bethel in the end.

Today in the Church as the body of Christ, we Christians inwardly complain at just about everything we don't like that comes our way! Has God been speaking to you about a certain matter? Are you sick? Do you suffer from some disease, maybe for many, many years? Good! ....then He is dealing with you regarding this same matter and your environment is being arranged by God this day, so that His Holy Spirit may enlarge your heart, causing you to depend upon Him absolutely. He gives you tribulation, so that the life of Christ in you may become your patience and your life. Many times we confess with our mouth that we depend upon Him absolutely in everything, but this is very often little more than mouth wash! God knows exactly what we still are in our heart.

Are you being chastened and scourged? Good then God loves you! The end result is less of you and more of Jesus active in your life. He gives us beauty for ashes! He gives us Himself in place of all that we are!

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