Grief Does Not Speak!

You may associate grief with the loss of someone or something you love. But there is so much more in life that causes grief. Do you feel deeply distressed when you see someone whom you love living a destructive life? It grieves you, doesn’t it? Yet you can’t do anything about it, because their choices are out of your control… Grief will last as long as love does. Have we ever stopped to think about what grieves God? He is our loving Father, and has given us free will. Unfortunately, some of us misuse our free will to harm others or ourselves and these choices ache the heart of God. How do we know? Because it says in His word. “The earth became filled with evil. And God was grieved!” (Genesis 6:5) 

We know that the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit is a fire dwelling in each believer. He wants to express Himself in every part of our life. When we do not allow the Spirit to be seen in our actions, when we know what we want to do is wrong but do it anyway, the Holy Spirit is quenched. This occurs when we don’t allow the Spirit to reveal Himself through us in the way that He desires. The bible tells us in (Ephesians 4:30) “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” For that reason, we should not grieve the Spirit of God, by living as though we are god.

We frequently encounter situations where we are suddenly tempted to do what is wrong through our words, actions, or temper. For instance, if someone treats you poorly, pointing the finger of criticism at something you have done and judging you, your flesh may prompt you to treat them as they have treated you. But the Spirit prompts you to do what is right – to forgive them and move on, letting bygones be bygones. Sometimes challenges are too hard for us to face, causing us to turn the other way, away from the true light. We may say, “WHY DID I DO THAT?”, because our flesh is often at odds with righteous living.

St. Paul said, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) It’s comforting to know that a Saint like Paul had the same struggles as us and acknowledged his weakness.

It grieves God, when one knows right from wrong, but still continues to live in a sinful manner. Sexual immorality, bitterness and  anger, lying and stealing (which includes taking someone’s happiness, marriage, job, etc.), cursing, unforgiveness, and the justification of sinful actions all grieve the heart of God.

We humans are in need of an unearthly power to shape and mold us each day. This power is always available to us but requires our willingness. I realized that I couldn’t do right by my own effort, so I asked God, just as David asked Him in Psalm 51:10, “ Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” 

When it’s done in humility, this prayer brings us to a place where we recognize our need for a power stronger than the power that the world offers us through science or self-help books.

“Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)

This verse speaks of the importance of a humble life. If we want to have God’s blessings in our lives, we must allow Him to cleanse our hearts through an authentic and pure relationship with Him. He wants the best for us. So we must be vigilant and faithfully immerse ourselves daily in His word.

If you find that you cannot move forward in your life and come to a roadblock, whether it is a relationship or marital problem, financial difficulties, health issues, or a crisis of faith, if it seems like you are stuck in one place, and your prayers are not reaching the doors of Heaven, then you must ask yourself this question: “Is my way of living aligned with a righteous life?” If the answer is “No”,  it’s time to examine what it is that is getting in the way of your happiness and success.  Are your actions and attitudes giving God or someone in your life reason to grieve?”

Last but not least, remember – where there is a deep grief (concern or sadness), there is deep love.

True Freedom!

Spiritually speaking, no one is free. We are either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. If we are enslaved by habitual sin, we cannot free ourselves by our own efforts. It can only be done through surrendering ourselves to God. Some may say that they don’t habitually sin and therefore aren’t enslaved by sin. That is a great thought but in reality, we all seek freedom. We might be a slave to things that we don’t consider to be sin. For instance, maybe we don’t let go of our fears, past hurts, a negative self-image, or an obsession with things or people, all which enslave us and rob us of peace. Then we find ourselves locked up inside of a cage which we built with the help of our own sinful nature.

790776E0-4BE3-44EF-B1A0-A976AC44E8F7Before I came to know who God really is and who I am, I was craving for freedom from the shackles of the world! Although I have felt the tug of war inside, here’s what I have come to realize; I must muster the courage to stop bowing to desires of my flesh and let the Spirit of righteousness free me from slavery to worldly desires, and lead and guide me to peace and freedom. To be honest with you, in some areas of my life I am getting better but others I still struggle as a work in progress.                                         I wanted to release myself from the bars which enclosed me. But I couldn’t do it by my own effort, I needed a bigger power, the Lord my God to strengthen me.

While I was craving for freedom from the chains of the world and the flesh, heaven was calling me again, with new visions to consider. I dreamt I was sitting at the foot of a mountain for quite a long time. I meditated, prayed, and pondered whether or not I should take the journey up to the top of the mountain which God was offering me. When I woke up, it was back to reality again and I knew in my heart God was telling me, “Get up, it’s time to move.” I asked myself, “Do I want to stay here in this land of pain, in a land filled with empty promises, selfishness, fear, pretentiousness, and deception, or should I take this journey – a walk up a path with signs pointing to hidden treasures along the way?” The treasures were love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I had no doubt that this path was filled with truth! I was eager to know God, I wanted to know how to live a life filled with enduring peace.
I began my journey by making some difficult changes which needed to occur. These changes manifested themselves as crawling in my vision. Moving slowly on my hands and knees up a steep road in my dream mirrored the struggles that I was having in real life. I wanted to release myself from the stronghold of the world’s distractions and bondage. To be free from the need to always please others or the desire of my own flesh. To live my life concerned only with pleasing God. For I knew that everything else would fall into place. Spiritual freedom sounds so incredibly sweet – sweet as honey and precious as a jewel. I was craving it! So I pressed forward in faith. There were many turns, twists and even a few setbacks. But it was in the detours that I learned the biggest lessons! I was slowly getting to know myself and others, and most importantly, I was beginning to know my God.
During this journey I was completely aware of the visible world. But I needed to put all my trust into what I could not see with my eyes. How could I trust and keep going forward toward the heavenly treasures promised? Praise God! I had an army of godly people who were praying and supporting me. This army included my dear husband and children who were each on their own unique journey. But they all were witnessing God’s miraculous work in my life. I was getting fixed from the inside out.
The changes were happening as the Lord was unveiling His mystery. I could hear that the “deep” was calling to the depths of my soul. (Psalm 119:45) “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.”
So here is the question for you; how would you describe freedom? Have you received this precious jewel yet, or perhaps you’re in the midst of a tug of war right now?