"Behold, is it a small thing that you should weary the Lord God Almighty with your complaints?
Is it a light thing in my eyes that you walk in weakness when I have made full provision that you might appropriate my strength?
Have you not insulted me in that I have condescended to dwell within you, and you have set me aside and quenched and grieved my Holy Spirit and walked in your own ways?
Shall I commend you?
Shall you escape My rebuke and displeasure?
You look in vain for my smile.
For you think in your heart that you can bring me some gift.
“I will do Him a kindness, ”you have said, and you thought I would accept this as devotion.
Do not deceive yourself. God is not to be toyed with. “See,” you have crooned, “I have brought you this basket of fruit.”
Cursed be the ground that brought it forth! Have I not required blood? But you have loathed sacrifice.
And I have said I will have none of your pretty gifts, for God desires integrity, and to obey is better than all your vain attempts to appease.
Behold, I am angry with you, and not without cause.
You have profaned my sanctuary with vain endeavors in the flesh.
You do not come to me in Spirit and in truth; but you have set limits of your own making to check and hinder Me.
You say you fear to offend;
But I say to you, for the very hardness and willfulness of your own hearts, you will not yield Me control.
You keep it in your own hands lest your iniquities are uncovered and your sin appears to all.
Lo, I will have none of it.
I will come to you when you have humbled yourself.
I will purge your sins when you put away your sham and hypocrisy.
I will gather you to my heart when you shall cease loving your own self.
The days are short.
Do you want me to come to you with the rod or in love?”
-from Come Away, My Beloved
by Frances J Roberts