Can I Move God?
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30
If you’d have asked me 15 years ago what was most important to me, I’d have told you my wife and children were my top priorities. I honestly believed those were the most important people in my life, but my actions at the time didn’t reflect that. In my addiction, I engaged in behavior that was completely antithetical to being a loving husband and a good father. In fact, I was doing things that actively damaged those relationships. I claimed I wanted one life, but I lived the opposite.
I did the same thing with my faith. As my addiction metastasized to consume everything in my life, I realized I needed radical change. I believed that God could help me and so, I went to him, asking for transformation. As a Christian, I understood that God could work in my life, changing my appetite so that I didn’t want to use drugs anymore. I believed I would be transformed by knowing God, but then I engaged in behavior that was completely antithetical to my relationship with him. I said I wanted to know him, but I pursued me above all.
There are those who believe that we cannot change God. They believe that God is going to do something or not do it, and that he cannot swayed by our behavior. In such a paradigm, it really doesn’t matter what we do. God is going to transform us or he’s not, and there’s nothing we can do about it because we can’t affect God.
Paul dispels such errant thinking in today’s passage. In it, he insisted that we can injure our relationship with God by grieving his Spirit. God isn’t human, but he is a person, and as such, we can know him a little or a lot. Just like with my wife and kids, I can engage in behavior that draws me closer to God or further away from him.
If I want God to work in my life, then I must figure out how to live in such a manner that facilitates and pursues my relationship with him. Often, we ask God to help us in one area of life but then ignore him, following ourselves in every other area. God, however, wants us to desperately pursue a relationship with him and often, he waits until we follow him to work in our lives. If we turn our backs on God, he usually doesn’t force us to change. However, if we pursue and grow an intimate relationship with him, he’ll always transform us into what we were made to be.