Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceful fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercise thereby. Hebrews 12:11
There are three degrees in which God will use to get our attention concerning the sin in our lives. Hopefully, this information will help you determine where you stand so that if you are not producing fruit in your life, you will know why, and do what it takes to get back in alignment with the Word of God.
Degree #1 - REBUKE - God does this in many ways: a prick of our conscience, a timely word from another person, a Scripture, the preaching of God's Word, or conviction by the Holy Spirit. (Note: these verbal cues are the most common kind of discipline that we will experience in being a part of God's family). Not taking heed to this correction, will force God to intensify the correction.
Degree #2 - CHASTEN - This is something you feel as emotional anxiety, frustration, or distress. What used to bring you joy now doesn't. Pressures increase at work, at home, in your health, or finances. (Note: During this time, we as Christians may stumble along in this level, yet fail to read the signs. We tend to feel unfulfilled at church, critical of our Christians friends, and "on the outs" with God. When we pick up our Bible, it feels like a weight instead of welcomed relief. Our relationship with the Lord seems infected by sadness or lethargy that we can't seem to trace. If this sounds like you, then it's time for an self-evaluation. Look for ongoing sin in your life. However, if you don't respond, God will be compel to take a more drastic approach.
Degree #3 - SCOURGE - At this level of discipline, you are living in open sin with a disregard of what you know is right. You have not heeded to previous attempts from God to rescue you from rebellion and get you back on track of being fruitful. Therefore, He must resort to intense pain to bring you to your senses (see 1Corinthians 11:29-30).
FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVETH HE CHASTENETH, AND SCOURGETH EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVETH. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons: for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Hebrews 12:6-8