Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 24 : Hear God's Voice | Day 165

Listen to the Reproofs of Life!

A multimillionaire was very proud of his wealth and believed that it was due solely to his own creativity and hard work. His pride increased through the flattery of an attractive secretary who exclaimed, "You are the smartest and most handsome man I have ever met!" Soon, he became physically involved with this woman. At first it was a secret affair, but eventually his wife discovered what was happening, and obvious conflicts erupted in his marriage and family. However, that did not concern him too much because his company was the joy of his life.

One day unexpected events began to take place in his business. Eventually, he was forced into bankruptcy and lost his company and everything he owned. God says that breaking moral commands will result in destruction and disgrace and will not go unpunished (see Proverbs 6:26-33). His reproof was consistent with this warning.

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Revelation 3:19).

The reproofs that we receive from God are not meant to destroy us, but to keep us on the narrow way that leads to life. No wise father will ignore his children's faults, because he desires their best and knows that they will not reach their full potential if he does not correct them. Likewise, our loving heavenly Father will chasten us if He sees us straying from the way of life and will use the reproof that will most effectively get our attention and draw us back to Him. When the Lord speaks to us through a reproof, it is a demonstration of His commitment to us as a Father and shows that we are His children (see Hebrews 12:5-6).

If we look closely, we will be able to see evidences of God's loving reproofs throughout our lives. In childhood, it may be the burn we received after disregarding a parent's instruction not to touch a hot stove. As a teenager, reproofs may come as a result of rejecting the counsel of parents and Scripture not to associate with worldly friends (see I Corinthians 15:33). Young adults who dishonor their parents and disobey Scripture by marrying an unbeliever will experience the sorrowful consequences of their choices. Even businessmen have told me that they have seen God's reproofs come when they fail to listen to the cautions of their wives regarding business decisions. We can experience reproofs in every area of life.

“For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23).

All of life is an incredibly complex and interconnected series of causes and effects. They are all a part of God's ultimate plan of bringing sinners to repentance and causing believers to be conformed to the image of Christ. We can be confident that reproofs serve a beneficial purpose in our lives and that “... all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).

When we fail to see the bigger picture of God's work in our lives by recognizing cause-and-effect sequences, we will also fail to hear His voice in the reproofs of life. Instead, we will react to our circumstances and become bitter toward God. Let's recall some of our own reproofs and discern the messages that God was seeking to communicate to us through them.

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard