The Father loves you—it is at this point that multitudes of believers fail God. They are willing to be convicted of sin and failure, over and over again. But they will not allow the Holy Ghost to flood them with the love of the Father.
The legalist loves to live under conviction. He has never understood the love of God or allowed the Holy Spirit to minister that love to his soul.
We at Times Square Church have taught that the righteous person, the true lover of Jesus, loves reproof. He learns to welcome having the Holy Spirit expose all his hidden areas of sin and unbelief—because the more he deals with sin, the happier and freer he becomes.
Yet, the attitude I see in many Christians is: “Keep on judging me, Lord—convict me, rebuke me!” This is not the same thing as true conviction. For example, I see this in many responses to my newsletter messages. When I write a message that thunders with judgment, I get overwhelmingly approving responses.
When I share about the sweetness and love of Jesus, I receive letters saying, “You’re not preaching the truth anymore!” It is as though these people are saying, “If you’re not reproving, then what you’re saying can’t be the gospel.” Such believers have never entered into the great love-mission of the Holy Spirit.
This is an area where you must learn to walk in the Spirit—and not by feelings! Walking in the Spirit means allowing the Holy Ghost to do in us what he was sent to do. And that means allowing him to flood your heart right now with the love of God! “Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5).
Isaiah said, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 66:13). Isaiah was writing to a stubborn people of God who “went on frowardly [backsliding] in the way of [their] heart” (Isaiah 57:17).
Tell me—How long will a teacher stick by a stubborn, obstinate student who refuses to heed advice? Not very long! But the prophet Isaiah takes one of the highest images possible among men—that of a mother’s love for her child—and shows us something of the love that our Father has for us.
One mother in our church takes a whole day to visit her son in an upstate prison. She gets on a bus and rides for hours, just to see him for a short while. Such a mother will look across at her son in that drab uniform and see the agony in his eyes—and each trip she will die a little more inside. But she never quits on him. He is still her son!
This is the kind of love the Holy Spirit wants you to know God has for you! He comforts us by telling us, “You once said you gave your all to Jesus. You gave him your love, and he still loves you. And now, neither will I let you go. I’ve been sent by him to do a work—and I will keep doing it!”
There is no true comfort for anyone on this earth except that of the Holy Spirit. This is why you need the Holy Ghost abiding in you. He alone can lay you down at night, as in a warm bed, and fill your heart with perfect peace. He alone can truly comfort you in times of pain and sorrow. He is the one who will assure you, “This comfort is not just temporary—it is eternal!”