The Glad Road of Sadness
Reading the Word with Joy
Welcome to my meditations
Like my Hub brotherQuill, whom I send a warm hello to…I welcome you to the thoughts of my heart today. To you give some background, this last January 2010, my husband and I decided we would once again read the Word of God straight through… with one difference; it would be on the Holy Spirit’s schedule. We have not picked a Bible Reading Plan to follow but instead read as the Holy Spirit leads us to read. Sometimes I am ahead of my husband and sometimes he is ahead of me. We are not in a race, and it is NOT a competition. Reading this way has provoked some very helpful and interesting discussions as we share with each other what the Spirit is making alive in our hearts. So…today I would like to share my heart with you as well. Although sad, I believe the Spirit has laid truth upon my soul which I must respond to and share.
I am sad today
…well these last few days…and that is okay. Let me clarify. Sadness, for me, does not affect, and neither does it have to, the joy of the Lord within me. My sadness does not limit the joy of the truth of God’s Word, praise God. Therefore as time goes on and I am gaining confidence in this truth I am able, with the strength of that word, embrace sadness for the truth that it also is and has. The Apostle Paul shared that,
“Godly sorrow [godly grief] brings [produces a] repentance that leads to salvation and leaves [brings] no regret,” (the words in parentheses are from the NRSV) 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NIV)
I do not have to be afraid of sadness, or sometimes even depression. If walked together with the Spirit of the Living God, it will lead me to a repentance that will lead to salvation in that area of my life. Rejoice instead when godly sorrow comes upon your heart for salvation is right behind it. Let the godly sorrow of the Lord do it full redemptive work. Paul continued by explaining that godly sorrow produced in the heart an earnestness to make it right (v 11 NIV). So with that explanation in place lets continue into the reading the Spirit has kept me at these last days.
If God’s ways are rejected, God is rejected.
In finishing the accounts of I & II Kings, there came a realization that many of those who yet call themselves God’s people (or Christians) have not changed one iota for the better than what the Israelites were in the days of the Kings. In generation after generation, although God generously and graciously held out arms of forgiveness over and over again to the nation of Israel, they rejected Him and His ways. Sometimes the nation tried to deceive themselves, God, and their societies by putting forth that they were indeed not rejecting God…in Himself…but His ways only.
They, made it known that they were following all the rules of sacrifice (the traditions and formula’s) God required of them; however, they were also following the rules of sacrifice (the traditions and formula’s) all that the false gods and religions required as well. The nation of Israel, who was to follow God and God alone, were imitating the ways of the nations around them together with their worship of God! The leaders of the nation Israel assumed that God’s ways could be rejected and NOT God. If God’s ways are rejected, God is rejected.
My heart hurts for the sin that is set forth so often, both then and now, as tolerance and acceptance. Oh my…does that not sound familiar to the shout of today. It is said, there are no other gods (idols) anymore. Many people believe this. In fact they assume that only in third world countries where people are not educated to higher thinking is there idols; this truly is what is put forth.
However, I must ask…seriously, what of all the spirituality in the world today, North America included? The alien spiritualism, Oprahism. Buddhism, Mormonism…all the ism’s. What are they, if not idolatry against the most high God.
I was saddened over and over again as I read how God would raise up a godly King, and there would be revolutions and some decrease would be made in the false religions that had been brought in along side God. But still the sacred groves and altars would be left, not all the high places would have been torn down. Why did they (the good kings) go all the way. Why did they stop short of complete demolishment of the false ways. They ignorantly left seed for further and worse idolatry. For inevitably, in time, as a new king would rise, often the very next generation, the new king would bring revival to the false religions which surrounded the country. Oh my heart cries. More so when I think, are we any different? Oh how I want to say, Yes Lord we are…we are different BUT the Spirit asks, are you?
I need to search my heart for it is there where idolatry starts. Yes, I can look to leaders and say…it’s their fault but, and there is a BIG BUT here,…
cannot lead me to idolatry
if my heart were not in a position to be lead!
I must and have to… take responsibility for the desires which are in my heart. Do I follow and “worship” anything in my life more than God. I wrote about this in fairly great detail in the Hub: The Rebuilding of the Altar of the Heart
Do I want to follow God and His ways…I must destroy completely all the high places in my heart that is in competition to the Holy One of Israel. I must want to do this, completely. Therefore, that starts with godly sorrow; I must draw near to the sorrow, I must ‘press’ in and see what the idolatry is in reality. A rejection of my God and His ways, if I reject one, I reject the other. There is no middle ground. And God’s way is only one…The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God my Father.