And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. –Ephesians 4:30
When I read this verse I was intrigued.
Further research showed that to grieve means to cause another to feel grief or sorrow. Ephesians 4:30 is clearly an instruction for Christian living, but how does one avoid making the Holy Spirit feel sorrowful?
The Message translates verse 4:30 to this:
Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.
Because Christians believe in the trinity, the Holy Spirit is a form of God. To cause grief and sorrow to the Spirit, is to do the same to Him. The use of the word grieve implies the Holy Spirit has feelings, which I believe to be true, considering the Holy Spirit is God’s. However, I’ve had the tendency to see the Holy Spirit as an invisible and mindless mist floating around in my conscious. Something intangible God gave me to listen to. But such elementary views deeply undermine the power, prominence, and intimacy the Holy Spirit wants to have in our lives, and the gift the Spirit is to believers.
- Comforts us. (John 14:18)
- Brings us peace. (John 14:27)
- Helps us recall we have learned about God. (John 14:26)
- Convicts us of sin. (John 16:8)
- Helps us pray. (Romans 8:26)
- Produces fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
These are a few of the wonderful things the Spirit offers, and 1 Thessalonians commands us to not quench or extinguish the Spirit. If we do, we will not receive the blessings of the Spirit.
So, once again I ask, how are we to not grieve or quench the Spirit in our lives? How are we to not break God’s heart by doing so?
The book of Isaiah offers some insight, “Yet they rebelled and grieved the Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them” (63:10).
God’s people rebelled against Him, causing them to grieve the Spirit. Not only that, but God turned against them. If there is one thing we never want, it’s for God to be our enemy. For He to not fight for us, would be detrimental. We need God on our side. Desperately.
And so, we must ask ourselves, is there any rebellion in our lives? Rebellion that could be quenching the power of the Spirit, breaking God’s heart, and turning Him away from us? What has God told us to do, that we are disregarding?
Simply stated: Disobedience to God and His commands is rebellion.
Rebellion does not have to be obvious, but could be lurking undetected in our daily walk. It might take the form of gossiping, not tithing, not making time to read the Word, and more.
At first, striving to not live with rebellion can seem daunting. After all, every sin is a form of rebellion, and we are certainly not perfect human beings. It is difficult to live sinless.
But there’s Hope. Hallelujah!
We have and will mess up. God knows this! It is why He forgives us and sent His Son to die for us. It is also why He gave us the Holy Spirit. A seal on our lives to be our Counselor and Helper. A divine Spirit to stop us before we sin and convict us when we do.
Isaiah later records how God gave His repentant people grace, even after their rebellious ways. Such mercy shows the beautiful love He extends.
Friend, if you find yourself reading this, and the Spirit is revealing to you some type of rebellion in your life, take action. Join me in repenting of any disobedience, seeking forgiveness, changing our ways, and then resting assured God is still on our side. So long as we are striving to stay in step with the Spirit, the Spirit can’t be quenched! (Galatians 5:25)