"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
What is happening there in the spiritual deeps beyond the veil of what men can see? To grieve the Holy Spirit of God: this is language that startles me and captures my attention. To even hear that it is possible forces me into a closer inspection with timidity and a furled brow. To then learn it is by reason of my own activity, because of the wrath of the creature, the disobedience of the forgiven, my own indifference and disregard for the sacred in my adulteries, is heart stopping. It is a travailing concept that my fragile mind doesn't quite know how to bring forth. It only pains in vanity. The Creator in some sense wounded by the creature? What has God communicated to us here in our own language of grief regarding transcendent things of Himself that we do not yet grasp? What does He still subject Himself to on my behalf? What does it sound like when eternity groans? Does it have a sound? Do the heavens convulse? Is time and space pulled taunt and briefly strained between the divergent excellencies of his eternal compassions and perfect justice? Though I falter to apprehend, I gain the wisdom of fear.
It is my opinion that apathy kills a professor of Christ quicker than any other rot. To escape the torments of an eternal fire may be the highest deterrent of rebellion in unregenerate men, but for the bride and lover of Christ, it is His love that constrains us, not His wrath. An unregenerate professor may fear God as an animal fears a larger predator and then feels safe again when he thinks he is separated by a great distance. He remains indifferent to the threat until he senses the predator's return, and only then returns to his guard.
The bride however, fears the strains and griefs of wounded love. Distance does not make any difference with her. If anything, she is all the more absorbed in her thoughts of the one she loves when she senses His perceived distance. There is anything but apathy. What should strike through her heart with greater terror than any external through of personal safety is the fear that she might offend, wound, and grieve Him who died and gave all to draw her with cords of love and rescue her. She is consumed by the thought of His power and love and majesty. Thus, if His sacred head was once wounded of devils and rebels, and it still causes her tears, how much more is she undone if she be the cause of wounding a sacred heart?
A mother would throw herself to the dogs to protect her young baby. A father would starve himself to death if it meant the difference of providing for his own household who is precious to him. Lover will brave any storm and any threat for the one whom their souls hunger for. Here it is the same, the bride would rather suffer any other physical torment than the torment of the knowledge that she grieved the one she loved most. This careful fear constrains her activities.The unregenerate professor, in the mean time, dies of apathy. The lion gets him after all, in the day and in the hour when he least expects it. He is caught off guard and drug down into the pit.
Kept in the love of God, the smitten bride lives forever, for love is as strong as death. And just as death was not sufficient to keep her from the one she loved while she lived, it will not be sufficient to keep her from Him afterward. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Her Husband passed over that gulf already for her, now she will pass over in Him. If He guarantees her safe passage, she need not fear the fires beneath, her only concern is Him.
Dear children of the light, keep yourselves in the love of God. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouths, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God.
-T. Austin Huggins IV