Sunday, August 14, 2016

Stop and Repent

"It is very easy to grieve the Spirit of God;..."

The sentence above comes from today's My Utmost for His Highest reading.

Do you think it's true? Is it "very easy" to make God sad?

The sentence goes on: "...we do it," that is, we make the Holy Spirit sad, filling Him with sorrow and pain, "by despising the discipline of the Lord, or by becoming discouraged when He rebukes us."

The Bible speaks of making God sad in Ephesians 4:30, where the Lord's focus is the way we behave in our relationships with other people. Oswald Chambers wisely connects and extends the idea of "grieving the Spirit" with the unhelpful and sinful way we can react when the God corrects us. Hebrews 12 verse 5 says: "do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him."

Do you know what it is to be "chastened" or "disciplined" by God? Have you experienced it? We can't know God's deepest care and love for us without it!

When we recognize God's correction and discipline in our lives, and responding to it by making changes, we learn how Good He is! But when we react like stubborn little children, or when we neglect personal times of being quiet enough to perceive the ways God is calling us to repent, or when we are too focused on what on other human beings think of us and our behavior, then we become more and more deaf and blind to the discipline and rebuke of the One who loves us more than we can ask or imagine.

"How deep the Father's love for us, How vast beyond all measure, That He should give His only Son To make a wretch His treasure..." Our Father God, with the Son and Holy Spirit, -- our One God never turns His face away from us, but when we do spend time His presence, we can, at times, feel His grief. He is sad when we don't listen to the ways He would change us from the inside out.

Are you making God sad? Stop and repent. Tell the Lord that you want to experience his loving correction. Tell him to help you learn lessons that he's been trying to teach you over the past days, weeks, months or years. Rearrange your schedule so you can spend quiet time seeking His loving and corrective voice. Turn away from what "other people think" and allow God to guide you. Give Him your full attention. You will experience His joy.

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