Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grieving the Lord Christ

Heb.3:8-19 - Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Eph.4:29-31 - Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

God reveals Himself to us in many anthropomorphic symbols that are for our benefit since we humans can never comprehend the Godhead in all its resplendent majesty. God is a spirit and has no hands or feet as we understand them, but those and other metaphors help us to understand better our Heavenly Father and the Risen Christ. And as it speaks of in the above Scriptures God can be grieved. Think on that for a moment. I cannot grasp what that actually means, except when I compare it to human grieving.
Grieving is an emotion of the heart, and the word heart is another word God uses to describe His innermost “thoughts and desires” (both are more anthropomorphic terms). It is so easy to view God as a dispassionate entity who runs things like an all powerful android or an impersonal force. But God has revealed himself as an all powerful deity that has feelings, relationships, and a heart that beats with redemption. Resist the temptation to explain God apart from the revelations that He Himself has provided. Aside from the impossibility of such a task, those who attempt to add to Scripture in order to present an expanded vision of God always end up with a false caricature.
Besides, the written revelations of God provide enough material for wonder and glory to last throughout eternity. But one day we will see and experience the Risen Christ, the Heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit in such spiritual reality that new bodies are required in order to live. And as we meditate upon such a God, and as we comprehend the depth of His love that both desired and provided for such an unequal relationship, do we care about grieving Him?

Are His desires ours? Are His purposes ours? Do we strive to please Him?

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

The knowledge of God is interconnected with the knowledge of His will and the obedience of the same. God does not just spread His sacred mystery around to everyone, including the careless and uninterested. He will not reward the disobedient with deeper revelations of Himself to be trampled upon and treated like some benign information that is a curiosity rather than a hallowed treasure. These glorious glimpses are New Testament burning bushes that awaken the spirit and brand the image of Christ deeper and deeper into those who seek His face. Far from being some a religious practice, seeking the Risen Christ with all our hearts is the ultimate and eternal labor of love.
And how can we live so nonchalantly, enjoying that which pleases our flesh but grieves our Wonderful Lord? Have we lost the spiritual sensitivity that cherishes His presence and recoils at anything that seeks to diminish our relationship with Him? And when we allow the little foxes to roam with familiarity, it will not be long before the larger foxes establish their own dens. And in a startling display of a seared conscience, millions of professing believers can grieve God’s during the week, gather with the saints on Sunday, and go through the motions of worship without the slightest tinge of conviction or remorse.
But instead, let us walk with the spiritual delicateness that acknowledges the glorious treasure of knowing and loving our Heavenly Father, the Risen Christ, and the Glorious Comforter. Let our lives be a continuing source of divine pleasing rather than a source of divine grief. Put down the implements of Martha’s kitchen and rest beside Mary at the feet of the Master. We all have experienced enough of all this world has to offer, and we have nourished the flesh and pleasures of sin for a season. The end is rapidly approaching and the events of this present world are cascading down toward the apocalyptic milestone that will literally shake the foundations of creation. He is coming.

Eph.1:16-23 - Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

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