If not now, when? There is no better time to get back on track than today. Step one just may be accepting some discipline in your life. Now, there are two types of discipline - internal and external. Internal discipline is known as self discipline and comes from the inside out. External discipline comes in three forms and is from the outside in. The more internal discipline you have the less outside discipline is needed. But none of us can avoid external discipline unless we are completely unloved. The reason being is discipline comes from love while punishment comes from anger. We often confuse the two, but God always moves from a place of love. So do the people who love us! God wants to help, not hurt, build, not break, teach, not defeat. In Biblical terms, the three forms of external discipline are rebuke, chasten, and scourge. Rebuking is verbal, chastening is emotional, and scourging is physical. Much like our parents would warn us, talk to us, and eventually paddle us (I am not sure if that happens anymore), God gradually increases the intensity of discipline if we fail to get back on track. Why? Because God knows if we keep heading down the wrong tracks it will eventually kill us. Getting back on track never seems pleasant, but in the end, if we accept God's discipline we will be much better for it. There really is joy in discipline because the grace of God, not the wrath of God, is always at the heart of discipline. So if there is some pain in your life, ask God if He is disciplining you. Ask God if you have failed to see His grace at work in some area of your life. Maybe you are missing it. Maybe you are mistaking pain for punishment instead of discipline. Maybe God's grace is at work to get you back on track.
Scripture: Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
“Father, joy is grace recognized. I don't know if there is a better place to see grace than in Your discipline. You discipline us for our good, that we might share in your holiness. Help us to choose joy by accepting your discipline. Rebuke us by showing us our sin in your Word. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Chasten us by brining conviction in areas we fall short. Scourge us when there is a sin that we refuse to let go of. For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives. God, we humbly admit our great need for You and we see discipline as grace recognized. Show me Father if you are disciplining me and if so help me to accept it and get back on track. In Jesus' Name, Amen."