The Miracle of God’s Faithful Discipline

Paul talks about the greatest miracle in his life, it not being some supernatural thing, but it rather being the love of the Father to discipline him.

Question: Apart from the greatest miracle which is salvation, what are some of the mighty works that God has done in your life? 

Paul: I know everybody is wanting me to tell about some miracle in South America or in the jungles, but the greatest work of God after regeneration, (all that dealing with salvation, opening us up to a view of the cross,) is His faithful providence in discipline. To me, God’s faithfulness, His love toward me, is manifested in His teaching, His training, this love that will not let you go, and this fatherly, brotherly discipline. 

Many of the times, we all go through seasons of, it seems, great fruitfulness. And it seems that every time I have gone through a season of great fruitfulness, at the same time, I’ve gone through a season of great trial, great testing, and oftentimes great pain. And I think that the Lord knows me – I think that He knows me better than I know me. And I think that He knows that when I seem to bear great fruit, I am in danger of great pride. And He knows how to wound me. He knows how to set a large stone on my head. He knows when it is necessary to even allow the enemy to run their chariot over your back so that you are not lifted up. 

Another way in which I see the great miracle is in my marriage. You see, someone thinks you are a godly man because you preach a certain way. Show me your marriage. And I think that the last 16 years, I am learning a little bit more how to lay down my life; just a little bit more, how to lay down my life for my bride. And then when my children came along, because I got a very late start in all this, when my children came along, the dying to self. You know, God’s miraculous power is seen in giving us children so that we can see ourselves in our relationship with Him through those children, it’s amazing. 

The greatest, one of the greatest joys that I have though is: Years and years ago, I was 22 years old, and I was greatly disturbed, bothered about some things. And I’ll never forget, I was praying, and it was about 1:45 in the morning; and I was praying, crying out to God. And I was in Austin, Texas. And two, a brother and sister from Houston called me on the phone. They just said they were praying too and that God had laid something on their heart. And they quoted this text to me out of the Psalms, “With a long life I will grant him, and he shall behold My salvation.” I am 48 years old. If I were to die before this interview is over, that has been fulfilled. To behold His salvation. To see church people who have been church people for 30 years converted. Or a Christian who’s lived most of their life thinking, “I don’t understand how Jesus getting beaten up by the Romans paid for my sins.” For them to come to me after a sermon, weeping, saying, “I understand. It was Him bearing sin. Him dying under the wrath of God. It was God’s justice.” To see people converted all over the world has been something far beyond anything I could have ever, ever dreamed of.