Monday, January 16, 2012

Grieving the heart of God……

For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded and stricken within me.”  Psalms 109:22 AMP

I will never know God well until I learn His “grief”.   

I read, “It pleased the Lord to bruise him (Jesus); he hath put him to grief” (Isa. 53:10 KJV).   But the grief that Jesus suffered was my grief, a grief that came His way because of MY sin.  

Grief always touches me at the point of sin, either mine or someone else’s.  That is why Paul could suffer grief over the lost members of his own Jewish race (Rom. 9:1-3 KJV).

This past week in my quiet time with the Holy Spirit, He asked me if I have ever really pondered the grieving heart of God?  Do I truly grasp the grief He bears over our sin?   Do I truly understand the cost that was paid for our sins?

The Holy Spirit answered before I could respond, by saying, “IF we truly understood the grief our sin brought God’s heart we would walk with a pure heart, we would not even consider sin or the temptation and desire to give it a second thought.  If we truly grasped the grief and payment of our sin we would believe that we could walk with a pure heart as Jesus walked because we would allow Him to empower us and we would become so determined that we would resist the temptation to harbor hatred, murder with our words or physically, we would forgive, resist offense, love unconditionally, jealousy would not have a chance, control and manipulation would not exist, selfishness, laziness, bitterness, addictions, unforgiveness, pride, egos, haughtiness, drunkenness, sexual sins, lust of the world, sexual desires would no longer control our flesh or thoughts and idols would not be a part of our lives.”

The Holy Spirit went on to say, “If we could believe that our Heavenly Father is grieved when we choose sin over righteousness just as our earthly parents, friends, employer or spouse is when we disobey or do something they disapprove of.”

“If we could see in the spirit His eyes as we do others it would grieve us to the very core of our being and we would live determined not to submit to sinful desires.”

I believe if we would stop and think about the price Jesus paid for our sins and truly believed the Word’s description of the horrible pain, agony and humility He suffered for us, it would make us stop before engaging in sin.

Jesus was beaten causing His body to be ripped open, then forced to carry His cross in the hot sun up a hill knowing His arrival would bring more pain.  He knew when He arrived with the cross He would be nailed to it, and then raised up naked for all to curse and spit upon.  NEVER did He stop and say, “I quit, it’s not worth it, these people will continue to do the things I am dying to set them free from.  Why am I doing this?”   No, He never complained or argued with His Father, He simply said, “Thy will be done”.

How hard it is for us to say such a statement and live by it without grumbling and complaining or threatening to give up.

God had to watch His only Son die for our sins, not His, but our sins.  He loved us so much that He gave His only Son to die to set us free.

When we choose to sin by our words or actions; hatred, lust, alcohol, drugs, jealousy, control, manipulation, charm, selfishness, pride….etc… we are telling Jesus that He died in vain because “I” choose not to be free.   I choose to serve myself; I surrender to the master of selfishness and not You.

God’s heart is grieved because He gave His most prized possession to set us free from the power of sin and yet we choose to follow the father of sin; Satan.

We can sit in church and pretend to worship and say we love God but our actions reveal the degree of our love and respect for Him.

I wonder if I would be more determined NOT to sin if that was my child or yours nailed to the cross for the sins of the world.  The next time I am tempted to sin, I think I will stop and consider the pain of my child….my flesh and blood crucified in vain. 

 If I truly grasped the depth of this sacrifice would I live differently?

If I really, really accepted and believed the fact that someone’s son took my place and died for me, would I continue to habitually sin?

When I am convicted of sin, I feel the grief of it, which is really the grief of God over sin.   The heaviness in my heart is simply the overflow of the sorrow of God concerning my sin.  The moment I confess that sin, God is no longer sorrowful and therefore I am no longer in grief. 

Jesus is constantly probing us to find a nerve in us that is sensitive to sin.   He is no disciple who has not felt the probing finger of Jesus on his heart.   That is the “godly grief” that Paul mentions as being good for us (II Cor. 7:7).  

The life of discipleship itself is a life of grief.   How can God deal with me without correcting me and how can He correct me without hurt?  No discipline is pleasant; it is “grievous……but it yields to the joy of mature, dependable discipleship” (Heb. 12:11 KJV).

My grief is therefore my joy and I should shout “Hallelujah” because God is producing a better me.

At all cost I must avoid the grief of the world, a bitter sorrow with no promise of a brighter tomorrow.  How sweet is the Lord’s grief when accepted and how eternal the consequences!  My hope is in Him, “who wounds, but He binds up, He smites but His hands bring healing” (Job 5:18 Berkeley).

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