Grieving the Holy Spirit

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

— Ephesians 4:30

Did you know that the Holy Spirit is a person? The Bible makes it very clear that the Holy Spirit is not just a force, like electricity. Rather, He is a person who knows, loves, speaks, leads, guides, intercedes, teaches, cries, testifies, and approves or disapproves of what we do. And when we love a person very much, we don’t want to do anything that will make him or her sad. In the same way, we need to know that we can grieve the Holy Spirit, just as we can grieve any other person whom we care about.

The Holy Spirit lives in our hearts. When God calls us as Christians, He sends the Spirit to live inside us. This indwelling is called “being sealed” by the Holy Spirit. (John 6:27 tells us that Christ was also sealed by the Holy Spirit: “God the Father has set His seal on Him.”) Being sealed by the Holy Spirit brings us many blessings. It indicates that God has accepted us and that we’re precious in His sight. It testifies to a finished transaction: Jesus has paid for all our sins. It verifies our security: God has sealed our sins in a bag and buried them in the depths of the sea. It attests to ownership: We are His, and He is ours. It indicates authority: Anyone who tries to break the seal will incur God’s wrath. It verifies that we have a personal destiny: Heaven will be our home—the Holy Spirit has sealed us for the day of redemption.

Because the Spirit lives in us and loves us so much, how we live becomes much more than whether we obey certain laws. We must act in ways so as not to grieve Him. We grieve the Holy Spirit when we do not listen to His voice or seek His guidance, or when, having heard His guidance, we choose to disobey.

Do you listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance? Do you willingly follow His directions? Or have you done something that would grieve Him? The Holy Spirit wants to guide you, to show you the way you should live your life. And He’ll forgive you when you confess going down your own sinful path. Ask Him to show you how you can live to please Him and bring Him joy, not grief, through your life.

“A Christian is a person who is led by the Spirit of God.”