“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
Have you ever gone through a trial that was so dark that the imprint of it remains in your thinking no matter how hard you try to leave it in the past? Maybe its more of an emotional imprint that is triggered when you feel unsafe or threatened in some way. You keep asking for the Lord to heal the pain of that memory and you gain some victory, but when poked or prodded, it flares up once again. Not only does it just resurface, but instead of finding healing you grow in fear that this thing is ultimately going to overtake you. Even though the Scripture says that freedom is rightfully yours in Christ, you live in condemnation wondering why you cant appropriate through faith what God has freely given. You pray earnestly, but you feel the constant grief in your heart and it wears you out.
Let me suggest something to you…is it possible that the freedom is there and what may be lacking is complete obedience? Deep emotional pain is tricky in the fact that we dont always understand the root of its source. When we hurt, our minds (with the help of our enemy) immediately go back to that trial that we associate the pain with…but if you have truly repented of any involvement in sin on your part in that trial, and humbled yourself before God to learn under His dealings with you through it all, and through the Lord’s help forgiven those that have hurt you; there may be something else going on. That pain that you feel, may not be your pain at all. Maybe its the person of the Holy Spirit who is grieved over the fact that you will not give yourself over completely to Him because whether purposefully or not, you are trying to protect yourself from more pain.
So how do we get to the place that the imprint is erased and has no more ability to haunt us? We give ourselves over to the Holy Spirit in such a way that we are completely abandoned to His purposes. I believe sometimes the pain we feel is God’s heart and His desire to answer our prayers for healing. He is grieving because we wont receive the benefits of His healing. We cling to our worthless self preservation trying to maintain control somewhere so that we feel safe, but the scripture says, “Those that cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” We find the same principle in the New Testament, “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
In His presence is fullness of joy! It is not place of grief! How am I going to erase this pain? By completely abandoning myself to my Father’s will – no matter what the cost. See, when we’ve come to that place, we no longer grieve the Holy Spirit in our lives and the freedom that we experience is so precious to us that instead of protecting ourselves, we give it all. When we reach that place, we will be like David as he danced with all his might before the Lord. Did he receive criticism? Yes, from someone close to him, but he knew that his worship was pure and to be treasured. God Himself dealt with the criticism. And its important for us to remember that criticism is not persecution, its just criticism.
Maybe the grief that you feel is the tool that the Lord is using to drive you to Himself. The scripture says that, “He seeks after those that have been driven away.” Ask the Lord to show you whether or not the pain that you carry is what you think it is. It may not be. Satan is masterful at deceiving us, but whom the Son sets free is free indeed!