How the Holy Spirit
Sends Correction by
Pastor John Hamel
“And ye have
forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you
as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor
faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as
with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth
not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers,
then are ye bastards, and not sons.”
have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them
reverence: shall we not much rather be in
subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for
a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit,
that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the
present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:
nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable
fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Hebrews
In our last study
we saw some things that everyone needs to understand about the Holy
Spirit’s caring correction and discipline. We saw that correction is
not punishment. Punishment is vengeful. Correction is a form of
affection. We saw that the Holy Spirit corrects us because He
cherishes us and we belong to His family. He is seeking to develop
character in us.
Finally, everyone understands that correction is not
fun. It is not supposed to be fun. The Holy Spirit is not looking
to put the “fun” back into “dysfunctional.” He is looking to steer
His family away from dysfunction.
In today’s study we are going to
look at the primary ways that the Holy Spirit sends correction.
Holy Spirit Prefers to Use Direct Correction
“I will instruct
thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt
go: I WILL GUIDE THEE WITH MINE EYE. Be ye not as the horse, or as
the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit
and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.” (Psalm 32:8,9)
When God said that
He would “guide thee with mine eye,” He meant that He would guide us
directly with His “knowledge” and His “presence.” Direct
guidance is internal guidance. God always prefers to guide us
directly through the written Word of God, unless of course, there is no
Scripture to tell you what to do.
For example, we
have Scripture that tells us to not marry an unsaved person. (2Corinthians ) God does not have to speak to us
about that through a dream, a vision or a prophecy. We already know His
will. But if we are thinking about moving to another state, there is
no Scripture that says, “Thus sayeth the Lord,
thou shalt move to Poughkeepsie.” So we must
look internally for God’s guidance.
“And let the peace
(soul harmony with comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in
your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise
in your minds]…” (Colossians Amplified Bible)
The Holy Spirit is
your inner umpire. He will tell you inwardly whether you are “safe”
or “out” concerning all decisions that arise in your mind. If the
inner umpire is giving you “unrest” on the inside about your move to Poughkeepsie, you would do well
to stay in place. If the inner umpire is giving you “peace” on the
inside about your move to Poughkeepsie, you would do well
to start packing immediately.
God will speak to
you through the Bible and/or through the inner witness of the Holy Spirit,
first and foremost. Some call this “intuition,” “gut instinct,”
“perception,” “inner knowing,” etc.
He can also speak to you through
your conscience, His still small voice, His more authoritative voice, a
dream or even a vision. These are all Scriptural forms of guidance,
as long as they line up with the written Word.
However He speaks to
you, do not violate it or He will have to move on
to other forms of indirect guidance that I call “the bits and bridles of
caring correction.” We will look at some of the “bits and bridles of
Holy Spirit Will Resort to Indirect Correction
Nowhere in the
Bible are Believers ever referred to as “horses or mules.” Jesus
calls His people “sheep” because sheep obey the Master’s voice. Sheep
do not need restraining devices because they willingly follow. Horses
and mules need restraining devices because they are self-willed. I am
determined that the Holy Spirit is never going to have to slap a bit and a
bridle on me. I am determined that the Holy Spirit will not have to
resort to the indirect forms of correction in my life.
Correction through Family & Friends
leadership in the home can be a bit and a bridle. Our fleshly parents
are to correct us when we are wrong and refusing to do what we know is
right inwardly. Sometimes the rod of correction must come into play
with children. (Proverbs 13:24; ; ; ; 29:15,17)
Husbands and wives occasionally have to help discipline
one another in love when one or the other is not
obeying the Bible or the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians
5:22-6:4; Proverbs 31:26,27)
members and friends can be used by the Holy Spirit to correct us.
Keep in mind here that we have absolutely no business taking it upon
ourselves to correct people that we do not know personally. The Bible
clearly states that, “Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend …” (Proverbs 27:5,6)
We have no business “wounding” someone if they are not first our friend.
Correction through Church Leadership
is also an external form of indirect correction. When we refuse to
listen to the Bible, when we refuse to listen inwardly and when we refuse
to listen to family members or faithful friends, the Holy Spirit will move
further out in the periphery of our lives. He will involve the Pastor or some other spiritual leader
who is familiar with us to pull us back in line and to spare unnecessary
suffering or potential tragedy.
“Be responsive to
your Pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert
to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of
God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not to its
drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?”
(Hebrews Message Bible)
When the Holy
Spirit begins to involve spiritual leadership to get you back on track, it
is time for you to wake up and start listening to the gravel on the side of
the road. You are about to drive into a ditch. You are about to
make things exceptionally and unnecessarily difficult for yourself.
Correction Comes through the Reproof of Life
The reproof of life
is another bit and bridle of correction. You will not enjoy this one
at all if and when it comes. This one is almost guaranteed to wake up
even the most stubborn of God’s children.
“The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth
among the wise.” (Proverbs 15:31)
Let us say for
example, you refuse to listen to the Bible, to your conscience, to the
inner witness of the Holy Spirit, possibly the voice of God, a dream or a
vision. So the Holy Spirit puts it on the heart of family members or
friends to speak a word of correction into your life and you still refuse
Next, the Holy Spirit moves on spiritual leadership to
appeal to your sense of better judgment, yet you still stubbornly and
foolishly resist. Now you are really getting in over your head.
The reproof of life takes over. The Law of Sin and Death takes over
and you did it all to yourself.
“Thine own wickedness shall correct thee and thy
backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil
thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God and that my fear
is not in thee, sayeth the Lord God of Hosts.”
For example, God
has tried to tell you through all the above forms of correction that He
does not want you to enter into a certain immoral business venture with an
unsaved person. But you insist and persist. The next thing you
know, you are one hundred thousand dollars in debt, you lost your home and
you are now sitting in the divorce court with a handkerchief to your face,
crying, “Why me, God? Why me?”
The answer is you
ignored the Holy Spirit’s direct and indirect caring correction. You
are now going toe to toe with the reproof of life. When you enter
into that realm, your whole life begins to fall apart. There is no
better time to run TO God
rather than further AWAY from Him. (1John 1:9)
No one is exempt
from the reproof of life, the Pupil, the Pastor, the Pope or the
President. If you are motivated by self-will and pride, instead of
God’s Word, you are headed for big time trouble. God loves you but
you are still headed for trouble. You chose to be a mule not a
sheep. You got too big for your sheepskin and now it is time to pin
the tail on the donkey.
Do not blame God, either.
He wanted you to play by the rules, but you wanted to run and play with the
fools. Now it is time to drink from the bitter cup.Repent.God will help you out but don’t think
He’s going to allow you to use Him.You’re going to have to give Him your word that you’ll listen the
next time.He’ll take you at your
Correction through Civil Authorities
are a form of indirect correction that is an even bitterer cup to
drink. If you rebel against all of the other levels of authority and
still insist on doing your own dumb thing, the Holy Spirit will definitely
place you under this one. He loves you too much to let you get away.
“Let every soul be
subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the
powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power,resisteth the ordinance of God: and THEY THAT RESIST
SHALL RECEIVE TO THEMSELVES DAMNATION. For rulers
are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not
be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt
have praise of the same:” (Romans 13:1-3)
In verse two the
Greek word for “damnation” is “krima.” It is the word from which we get our word
“crime.” It means “a decision to go to law and to judgment.”
If you would like
to see police officers, attorneys, judges and the prison system up real
close and personal, keep messing around and you will experience them
all. Keep blowing off God’s bits and bridles and you could very
easily come to the place where the Holy Spirit Himself will allow civil
authorities to come and bring His correction to you. It is guaranteed
that you will not enjoy that when it happens.
You will wish you had
listened way, way back there where the Bible, your conscience, your family,
your friends and spiritual leadership were trying to help you.
It is possible to
rebel to the point that you become so hardened to the Bible, conscience,
family, friends, spiritual leadership, civil law and the preciousness of
human life that you begin to murder. The Holy Spirit said that when
it gets to that point, it is time for your life to be taken.
“Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed:
for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis
Murder is a crime
against the image of God. It is a crime against society. It is
a crime against the murdered individual’s family as well as the one whose
life was taken. It is bad enough to take the life of a Born Again
person before they can accomplish God’s will in their life. But it is
especially abhorrent to God when someone murders an unsaved individual,
robbing him or her of the chance to spend Eternity in Heaven.
says, “The Bible says thou shalt not kill.
We should not practice execution in a civilized society.” Well, if
society were civilized, we would not have to do so. Plus, the Bible
does not say thou shalt not kill. The original
Hebrew says, “Thou shall not take a life in an unjustifiable manner.”
If God says taking
someone’s life for pre-meditated murder is justifiable, then justifiable it
is. That is why if you are a police officer, attorney, judge or
prison warden, you should never feel guilty when the time comes to do what
God has told you to do. You were birthed into the Earth for this
purpose. Just lead that criminal to Christ and he will go right on
into Heaven. You are just going to have to
ignore the “Christians” who picket the prison with “Thou shalt not kill” banners. They are ignorant of
their Father’s written Word.
You can also ignore
the excuse that “Genesis 9:6 has passed away because it is part of the Old
Testament Law.” That is not the truth. Genesis was written
before Moses’ Law was given. This means that the principal of capital
punishment was intact before the Law; therefore, it is intact
after the Law, just like tithing. Capital punishment continues after
the Law, as well.
God permits life to
be taken when someone murders and during times of defensive warfare.
God is opposed to aggressive warfare but allows humanity to defend against
aggressors. We must understand that there are two kinds of warfare
in the Bible, aggressive and defensive. The Bible treats them
If you choose to
lie, defraud, cheat, manipulate and even murder, the Holy Spirit will put
the proper authorities right on your trail.You can be sure when you launch heat seeking missiles to destroy
others that, one way or another, they’ll always find their way right back
to your own tail pipe.When that happens,
do not start whining that Satan is harassing you. It is not Satan.
(Proverbs 11:3) It is you and the Law of
Sin and Death squaring off, according to Romans chapter
thirteen, because somewhere, way back there, you blew off the Bible, your
conscience, the inner witness, family, friends, spiritual leadership and
the reproof of life.
But even if you have come this far, what Satan means for evil, the Holy Spirit can still use for
good if you will repent and allow Him to do so. (Genesis 50:20)
In our final study
in this series, we will see how an individual is to deal with correction
when it comes.