This devotional was originally published on October 15, 2020.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
— Psalm 51:11
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 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. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
— Ephesians 4:25–32
David, having a broken heart, experiences fear. Thankfully, as Christians living in the age of grace, we will never have to fear. When I read this section of scripture, what David feared genuinely made me sick to my stomach. I can’t imagine being afraid of being rejected by God. I do not share David’s fear because God promised that he will never leave me or forsake me.
Indeed, God will not cast me from his presence, but there is more for us to hear. Even though we will not lose the holy spirit, did you know that your actions or persistent sins can grieve the Holy Spirit living inside?
I know most don’t picture God as having emotions, but that is just not true. We see his anger, his sorrow, his disappointment often when we read scripture. We even see him having a broken heart and being jealous when his people reject him.
When we remember that God is our father, it creates a context for us. A loving father can be grieved by his children’s decisions. It does not change the love we have for our kids, but it hurts to watch our children make harmful or damaging decisions.
It’s easier to believe that God is distant and unaffected by our decisions, but God is not that way. He is personal and involved in our lives.
My hope today is that this realization will open your eyes to how your actions and attitudes affect the God who loves you so much. Today, be mindful of your choices and choose to do things you know will please your father, rather than grieve the Spirit living in you.