Sunday, November 23, 2014

Grieve the Spirit

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God... (Ephesians 4:30)

What does that mean, to grieve the Spirit?

Sometimes I think God is like my mom: she dressed my brother and I up for the special party in our best clothes. She washed our faces, combed our hair, ironed our shirts and skirts, shined our shoes. When she was all done she told us to behave and not to fight or get dirty. Then she disappeared into the bathroom to get ready herself, leaving us alone.

How hard it was to be good and stay clean! How exasperated she was when she found us scraped and disheveled!

Father God is not like that. He knows the world is dirty. He brings us inside at the end of the day. He removes soiled coats and muddy shoes. He tenderly bathes us, and dresses us in clean PJs, combing knots from our hair. He gives us a hot meal and discusses our day. Yes, He is saddened by wrongs we have done, but He is not surprised. He is not unprepared. Even when He sends us out again, He does not tend to His own business and leave us alone. We are His business. He watches, He guides, He strengthens, He comforts, He confronts, He consoles, and I have even seen Him stand and block the way.

Every day we come home dirty. That is the world we live in, even in our own hearts so we cannot hide. The Spirit grieves our sin because there is a loss: a loss of relationship, opportunity, time, purity, joy, or peace, to name a few. The loss is ours, but like a father, God feels the pain of His child. Like a father, God is anguished to know that His children do not trust Him at His word and obey. All disobedience is a lack of trust in God’s wisdom and love.

Yes God is angry at some, but not us who believe. God's anger is towards scoffers who hate God and scorn His people as silly at best and deceivers at worst.

However, we are His children and He only waits for us to return home, to be cleansed, refreshed and loved. He cleanses us as we confess. He refreshes us as we talk to Him in prayer. He loves us as we worship Him as Lord.

Yes, we grieve the Holy Spirit. It is as inevitable as children playing outside become dirty. What do we do? Confess. Pray. Worship. Confession to one another breaks the power of sin. Prayer reminds us of how much God loves us. Worship reminds us of how worthy He is to trust and praise.

Let’s not stop reading in the middle of this verse that continues: …with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Another translation states: God gave you His Spirit as proof that you belong to Him and that He will keep you safe until the day He makes you free.

God seals us. He keeps us safe. He is our Father forever and will never let us go. 

Thank You Jesus for paying the entire price for every sin. We can come to You with boldness because You are always waiting for us to return. Your arms are always open and there's a warm tub waiting.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

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