“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Eph 4:30 NIV
My catchphrase response to the word “grief” is death. I think of the deep sorrow that accompanies losing a loved one. Waves of pain that wash in and out for many seasons over a lifetime. But there is another kind of grief that haunts me daily. It’s regret over bad decisions that grieve the heart of God.
What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit of God? As a believer we are given the presence of God who resides in us, like a roommate. This privilege empowers us to live extraordinary lives, far beyond on our natural means. We are also given the free will to tap into His power, or ignore Him completely. Grieving the Holy Spirit is like ignoring a roommate who is standing in the room. It’s doing something he asked you not to do while he is watching, or taking credit for something he did. Even worse, doing something to please yourself knowing it will break His heart. I do it often.
Grieving the loss of a loved one seems to outrank all other grief. However, it has been said that divorce is worse than death. I have tasted the pain of divorce and almost fallen into the enemy’s trap of paralyzing shame. For a long season I wore the guilt and shame of divorce. It held me back from the life God intended. I was ignoring my roommate. I needed to divorce my “self”.
Dropping the baggage of guilt and shame is Step 1. The real challenge is Step 2: don’t repeat past mistakes. Sound simple? The simple truth is you will absolutely repeat the same mistakes when working in your own strength. You desperately need your roommate for this.
Paul writes very clearly about the desires and weaknesses of the flesh. He explains, “I don’t practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” Ever been there? We all have and will continue to wrestle with flesh desires and faults until our flesh completely fails and we are released into heaven.
So, how do I divorce my natural self when I can’t escape it? How do I live a life that pleases God, the full life for which Christ died for me?
1. Remember your roommate. You can’t hide from God. He knows your every thought before it turns into action. He made you from dust, but He filled you the breath of heaven.
2. Receive forgiveness. Christ already died for your sins, past, present and future. Why are you holding onto them?
3. Face your faults. Know your weaknesses. Courageously confess your natural desires and trade them for His higher plan.
4. Consume the Word of God daily. Reading the Bible will help you better understand the power and presence of God who dwells in you. If your college roommate came with an instruction book, wouldn’t you read it?
5. Divorce your self daily. Walk in your new identity in Christ.
What grief are you carrying over bad choices?
What are you trying to hide from your roommate?
What baggage could you divorce yourself from today?
In His Unfailing Love,