I have often wondered what Paul meant when he said: “Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 4:30. To fully grasp the meaning I went and read the whole 4th chapter. Paul was talking to the church body about respect for each other as Christ followers and to remain united. Read Eph 4:1-3 God gave each of us different gifts that we bring to the Body of Christ so that we enhance the Kingdom of God and carry out the gospel to all nations. Read Eph 4:11-13 Even if we see things differently, we are called to speak to one another with the same kind of grace that God bestowed on us through Jesus and to build each other up.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30
“The Greek meaning for the word “grieve” is “lupete” from the word “lupe” which translated into English is to cause “pain” or “grief” in the content of two people who are in love and have been divided through adultery by one of the two in a marriage setting.”*
So how many times have we found someone in the church, our family or even more disheartening, ourselves being unfaithful spiritually? Meaning, adultery with words, actions and maybe even threaten to divorce God because of something that has happened in our lives and we try to blame Him? Maybe we know someone who has even walked away from the church because of hurtful words and they turn their backs on God all together trying to protect themselves. Or here’s one to consider, maybe this person is you. You have washed your hands of God and the church; divorcing God because you feel God did not come through in of time of need. I understand this and you are not alone. I have been in this place myself and I want to encourage everyone that can relate to this appeal and I would like to ask you to continue reading.
Sadly, the farther away people distance themselves, it causes a ripple effect and they shut down conversation with God altogether. So wounded, they don’t want to hear what He has to say on the matter. This person continues to fall further and further into sin because honestly, they start to justify leaving and they start to like their sin. Maybe they don’t realize this causes God grief because they are so focused on their own pain that they don’t recognize their actions or that God even feels grief.
I truly believe God has feelings for these three reasons:
1. We were created in His image.
2. Jesus was found weeping and sorrowful at the death of Lazarus John in 11:35 and Jesus cried over Jerusalem in Luke 19:41 as He approached the city.
3. God went to great lengths to send Jesus to gain us back from Satans deception.
When God created mankind, He created us to have a covenant or relationship with Him. Jesus came here and walked among us to show us who He is, how to have a relationship with God and with each other, the Body of Christ. God showed us His grace through the actions of Jesus on the cross. Grace that is giving even when we don’t deserve to be forgiven but because of mercy, forgiveness is easily granted when we come to our senses and repent.
Did you know that the Bible is a love story between God and His unfaithful Bride? This love story has been written over thousands of years. (The Bride being Isreal and the church is a type of Isreal) Throughout the books of the Bible, there is a constant chasing and pulling away from God and His beloved church. One of my favorite love stories is the book of Hosea. Read chapters 1-4. God asked Hosea to marry an unfaithful and adulterous woman. It sounds odd that God would ask this of Hosea but He did. This woman represented Isreal and all that the Israelites would endure because of their unfaithfulness. The kingdom of Isreal was divided due to their unfaithfulness to God and therefore they had to endure many hardships because of their rebellion. But the end of the story is what brings me to emotional tears every time I read it. Hosea sets out to find his unfaith wife and rescues her from her ruthless slave handlers and returns her back home. He paid a huge price to restore her to himself even when she did not deserve his love nor his devotion. Hosea was a foreshadow of Jesus and what great lengths God would take to restore a broken, rebellious and adulterous people. It didn’t matter how much grief we have put God through, He still pursues us because He loves us.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34
Think about that statement in Luke 23:34. Jesus recognized that His own people didn’t know what they were doing when the hung the Son of God on a cross. Forgiveness is a huge deal to God. Seeing people the way God sees them must be a big deal then too. Church body, this is why it is so important to have open communication with your Pastor or mentors in the church. Be mindful what is said and how it is said to another. For the offended, don’t run from the church because of something that someone has said or done. It isn’t God’s intention to see you separated from Him or the church. God’s desire is to unite us, the enemies plans are to divide us. And yes, even Christians make mistakes and say and do things that are hurtful. Keep this in mind when in a disagreement with another and remember whose really behind the division in the church. Be mindful of what is said to others when you feel there is something more to what’s really going on spiritually. Ephesians 6:12
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:29-30
If you feel a check in your spirit while reading this, ask God where in your life you have grieved the Holy Spirit with your words or actions. Then bring those things to the feet of Jesus. He is faithful to forgive and welcome you back home in His faithful arms. Our relationship with God and each other is a precious gift because we are each precious to Him. Reconcile any wrongs that need to be made right with others. I also encourage you to reconcile with God if needed. He loves you so much and He grieves over your absence from Him. The church has work to do on this earth and every individual has a specific job required of them to advance the Kingdom of God.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:14-16
Papa God and Ashley
The picture displayed is the ownership of the artist on Pexels
*Study of Greek words is quoted from Sparkling Gems from the Greek I written by Rick Renner