The Holy Spirit promises us energy, clarity and creativity. And we are going to need every bit of this to attain to the A+ “life to the full” God wants for us to experience. We assist in this by refusing to quench the Spirit of God within us, and, as well, by having the clarity to see when we are about to grieve his Spirit.
The Holy Spirit’s power can affect your life dramatically. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. It’s real. But do you realize what you say or do can affect the Holy Spirit within you?
We read about how Joseph sidestepped grieving God’s heart by refusing to sleep with Potiphar’s wife. He had the clarity to preempt sin with his clear perspective of how deep the love is God has for him, and his gratitude for it.
Do you have this same vivid clarity? … and gratitude?
Now contrast Joseph’s positive perspective with King David.
David has just slept with Bathsheba. He wasn’t thinking about God then, but he soon will be.
To cover it up he had Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, set up to be killed in battle. David has sinned mightily against Uriah, as well as Bathsheba. But what about God?
God sends Nathan the prophet to remind David he lives in a God-saturated world, and that all he has, has been given to him through the Holy Spirit, who has been active throughout his rise to stardom.
Listen to what God says to David. (I hope your heart will break, like mine, at the thought of God saying this to you)
“I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes?”1
“But God, I wasn’t thinking of you. I saw Bathsheba, she was really hot, and I, well, I just couldn’t help myself. But please, this is just between me and Uriah and Bathsheba. It wasn’t about you.”
“Oh, but it is about me,” God says. “And you have grieved my heart, and you have grieved my precious Spirit within you.”
I don’t want to ever again have that conversation with my Heavenly Father. I want to be like Joseph, and think about how much God has blessed me, and loved me, and taken care of me, before I act on a temptation, or before I act on my selfish pride. I don’t want to be like David, and have to be reminded of God’s loving kindness after I have grieved him.
Don’t you want to be compelled, yes, compelled and motivated, by your gratitude for God’s grace and love? This is the path to the A+ Life.
Let’s not avoid sin because we’re afraid of getting in trouble with our Heavenly Father. Let’s preempt sin because we love the Father, and see how much we are loved by him.
I want to preempt sin, because I don’t want to ever again grieve my Father’s precious Spirit within me.
Did you catch what God said after he had reminded David of all his blessings? This is the part that really pierces my heart.
“And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.”
Do you hear God’s heart? “I would have given you even more.” You see, God is saying to you that you don’t ever have to grab for what you don’t have. And you sure don’t have to sin to get it. God knows what you need, before you ask him. And he is generous beyond your imagination, with just the right gifts, in just the right time.2
Whatever your temptation is, be it a ‘Bathsheba,’ or any array of fear-motivated, or pride-infested, or self-promoting actions, may I encourage you – or warn you if it takes that – to remember Joseph’s preemptive words:
“How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”