What about grieving the Holy Spirit?

Here is another command to each believer: ‘Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God’. (Ephesians 4:30). Do you know what this means? The word ‘grieve’ means to cause sorrow of heart. Dr G. Campbell Morgan said , ‘There is no word in the New Testament which more clearly and beautifully reveals the tenderness of the heart of God’.

God uses this word to teach us that it is possible for a child of His, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, to cause sorrow to His heart. How? By preventing Him, or hindering Him, from doing the work He wants to do in our hearts.

We are often stubborn and unyielding. We are sinful and wilful. His heart is grieved as He sees us living on a spiritual level far below that which He has planned and to which He wants to lift us. He has planned for us a life of victory. We grieve Him when we live in defeat. He has planned a life of service and witnessing. We grieve Him when we turn aside. Anything short of the Spirit’s plan is a grief to Him.

The Holy Spirit seeks to lead us on, but because the pathway of devotion and consecration is always the path of the Cross, we draw back. That would mean the giving up of our own will.

But while ‘self’ is on the throne of our heart, Christ is not! When Christ is on the throne, ‘self’ is on the Cross.

This is what the Holy Spirit wants to make real to us every day!

How do we know that He is grieved? It will not be difficult. Our whole life will be affected. Our sense of fellowship and communion with the Lord will be lost.

The reason will not be hard to find. The Holy Spirit will have to stop His work of developing the character of Christ in us and go back to His first work again, that of convicting us of sin. As some one has said, ‘He stops revealing Christ and instead concentrates on revealing sin to the heart until repentance is produced’.

When the Spirit is grieved the Bible will lose it’s freshness and prayer will lose it’s joy. We are dependent on the Spirit for illumination in study, for inspiration in prayer. When we grieve Him, He is compelled to stop those ministries.

Victory over sin becomes less and less frequent. The reality of Christ fades. Assurance is replaced by doubt. Power in service is absent.

We will know when we grieve the Spirit, because He wants us to know it. He also wants us to know that through repentance His fellowship can be restored.

What shall we do?

If we have grieved Him, what then? ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’(1 John1:9). Remember the Holy Spirit is never grieved AWAY. He remains in hope of the cloud being rolled away.

If we really want His fullness, here is where we must begin! First repentance, then the complete surrender and yielding of our wills to the Holy Spirit so that He can continue His mighty work in us and through us.

• Come and find out more at Bible study at 7.30pm on Tuesdays.

• Sunday Service at 10am at Glenorie Mission Church 1409 Old Northern Rd.