“Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.” ~ Proverbs 20:30 NIV
The blows and wounds referred to in this verse are accurate metaphors of the discipline that we must go through to be cleansed from strongholds and bad habits. In Christ Jesus we are forgiven from all sin, but we often have ungodly habits and strongholds of sin which must be beaten and wounded until they die.
Our strongholds and bad habits are like cancers that tap into our soul’s “blood supply.” They drain the resources that are meant for our nourishment, peace, and joy. We can never break free from these strongholds without the Lord. Yes, we may break away from some bad habits, but we cannot eradicate the cancerous evil at its very root—only the strength of Christ can do that.
Likewise, as you pursue the wisdom of God, your natural, fleshly man must be beaten and wounded. Your natural inclinations of selfishness must be purged. The process will be painful for you are being separated from the aspects of your old nature which made up you. This process will span the entire length of your life: there will always be another stronghold to deal with, BUT IN CHRIST YOU CAN CONQUER and OBTAIN THE PRIZE!
As you walk through your life this week remember, dear friends of the Lord, that the blows and wounds—yea the purging of your spirit—is necessary for your new life in Christ to continue to grow. Just as a plant must die some day, it will be replaced by another or perhaps many more plants; and the dead plant becomes fertilizer for the new plant. As you abide in Christ, the Lord must discipline you to make room for more of His Spirit and love: to plant new plants, new groves of vegetation that produce fruits of gentleness, love, joy, peace, kindness, self-control and more where old ones of greed, hate, and condemnation once stood.
Stand firm and embrace the Lord’s discipline for He is purging your inmost being! Take Courage brothers and sisters, the Lord is your strength!