The Spiritual Disciplinary Breakpoint

“4 You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him;
6 for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father does not chasten?
8 But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then you are bastards and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh who corrected us, and we gave them reverence. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
10 For truly they chastened us for a few days according to their own pleasure, but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.
11 Now chastening for the present does not seem to be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised by it.
12 Because of this, straighten up the hands which hang down and the enfeebled knees.
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed.”

Somewhere along the line, in the life of every child (and, repeatedly, I might add), there exists what I call a “disciplinary breakpoint” whereby the parent “no longer tolerates” certain behavior that exists in that child. For example, a child who whines repeatedly may get away with it for an hour, but then comes the “disciplinary breakpoint.” At such a time, the parent may say something like, “That’s enough, Johnny. No more whining!” That is what I call the “disciplinary breakpoint.” It is the pivotal point by which the change takes place from “whining” to “no whining.” It is a decisive, and in no way uncertain (or nebulous) point. Furthermore, it is effected by an outside force. It was Johnny’s mother that “effected” (i.e. put into effect, or caused to come into effect) this “disciplinary breakpoint.” She cared enough to do it, and to take action.

This “disciplinary breakpoint” might happen once a day (in some areas) for some young children and parents. More often than not, if it done right (in love), the “disciplinary breakpoint” should bring about a “clear change” in the habits of the child. In some cases, of course, this change may be evident for a day (the child no longer whines for a day). In other cases — depending on various factors such as how it is carried out — the disciplinary breakpoint may effect an even greater change. The child may actual “remember” for a whole week not to whine … or, if the child DOES whine after that, he is “easily reminded” by his parents “not to do it again” (i.e. to please stop now), and the child “easily responds” because of “remembrance that things will not go well for him if he keeps it up.” In other words, the methods employed by the parents to deal with the situation (to bring the child to the “disciplinary breakpoint”) may have a real lasting effect — even if the child does tend to “do the same thing” from time to time. A little bit of perseverance in this area, and — who knows? — the parents may even be able to achieve what one might even term “total success” in that particular area that they were seeking to “reform” in their child.

God, too, has his own “disciplinary breakpoints” — and, let me tell you (from personal experience) — these are “very real” breakpoints. In other words, God may easily “put up” with unwise and even ungodly behavior patterns in his beloved children (for years!), but if the child of God is serious about his walk with God (and God of course is serious about the child, so we don’t have to consider that point), then, yes, God will “bring the child” to the “disciplinary breakpoint” by which, finally, the child is actually completely willing to “give up” that terrible sin by which they have been dishonoring God, others, and even themselves, for so long. The “spiritual disciplinary breakpoint” may be somewhat of a “strange” or “unusual” occurrence (from my own experience) by which God, after having openly permitted his child to “walk in sin” (including sins of attitude, or conduct), will suddenly (as if to say, “now is the chosen time!) “put a stop” to the “dead behavior” of his child. He may do this in a variety of ways. Again, I can only say, that the word, “strange” or “unusual” comes to mind. God may indeed “step in” in some very “strange” and “unusual” ways. This is a very real breakpoint; perhaps you can relate to it.

You will know that you have reached a “spiritual disciplinary breakpoint” in your own life not when you get “hauled in by the law” for misconduct, or when your spouse “reprimands you” for your bad attitude. Rather, you will “know it” when, after having recognized and battled this problem in yourself for a long time, you finally “reach that point” where the old behavior pattern suddenly and irrevocably just “breaks off from you,” without bothering you again. Again, I can only say, it is a bit strange. You will have to ask God for yourself what He is doing in your life, and, please, feel free to examine your own heart in this matter, to ask God just exactly “what He is doing” and the “spiritual disciplinary breakpoints” He wishes to effect in your life. I trust that He will reveal to you some answers, and that, by your own perseverance in this matter, that you might indeed “be brought to those effective spiritual disciplinary breakpoints” that God has wanted to bring you to for a long time.

“Dear Lord God, bring us to the end of ourselves, so that you may take over. In those areas that we have failed you repeatedly throughout the years by “going our own way,” be pleased to “put your finger” on those areas, as you see fit. Lord, we know that we are a rebellious people. We often do not do as you say. Forgive us for that, please. Lord, something needs to happen in our lives in order for us to be able to “break free” like you want to happen. Lord, bring us to the end of ourselves; bring into effect that “spiritual disciplinary breakpoint” where we finally “give up that sin” that we have been doing, perhaps for a long long time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”