April 29, 2016
Did I Hurt God’s Feelings?
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30 (ESV)
Wouldn’t it be great if God answered you immediately, every time you prayed or asked Him a question?
Just imagine. You’d always have His clear direction and sure confirmation. You’d know exactly what to do in any situation. No more hesitating or second-guessing.
Wouldn’t that be fantastic!
Well, several months ago, I was dealing with a tough situation and kept asking God to bring clarity to what I should do. I searched Scripture and found some great verses that could apply.
But I longed for more. I wanted specific words from Him pertaining to my specific situation. One solid sentence would do. Just something … anything … to give me a clear, concise direction.
I brainstormed solutions. Offered God suggestions. Even pouted a little. But no specific words came.
Then one evening during my quiet time, I asked again, Lord, why haven’t You given me direction with this situation? You know I’m struggling and waiting for a specific word from You, right?
Within seconds, Ephesians 4:30, today’s key verse, popped into my thoughts: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Huh … ?
My heart sank. My shoulders slumped. My eyes gazed down at the floor.
Lord, how have I grieved Your Holy Spirit? You know I love You more than life itself.
I quickly picked up my Bible, turned to Ephesians 4, and there it was staring back at me in black and white print: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:30-31).
God had definitely taken His holy highlighter and illuminated specific words. Except, these words were not the ones I expected.
It was time for a little personal Bible study, so I read through Ephesians 4, looking up cross-references and commentary notes to better understand. Then I mulled over the tough situation I’d been asking God about — this time with a new perspective. His perspective.
I prayed some more and began quietly listening instead of doing all the talking. And then it hit me …
In the prior days of wrestling with my issue, I lost sight of the fact that I was also expressing a lot of frustration, irritation and ugliness. Not just in my thoughts, but with my words … to my family and a close friend.
Sure, I was still praying daily, reading my Bible and listening to worship music. But I was also planting tiny seeds of bitterness and anger inside my heart every time I thought about the situation or expressed it to others.
These tiny seeds of sin were taking root and sprouting ugly weeds of negativity in my thought life, attitude and words.
This sin wasn’t breaking my relationship with God, but it was definitely creating a hindrance in our fellowship and grieving His Spirit.
I had overlooked the truth that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person with feelings and emotions. And my expressions were definitely in contrast to the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control.
You can bet I didn’t waste time before saying I was sorry and confessing my sin. Nothing is more important to me than my relationship with God and the close fellowship I have with Him.
So how do we maintain close fellowship with the Holy Spirit on a consistent basis? A few examples are given in the same section of Ephesians 4: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32, ESV).
When we live like Christ — forgiving and extending kindness to others, expressing genuine love from a tender heart that’s been shaped by God — we bring joy to Him. And that joy also enriches our friendships and makes our relationship with others so much sweeter!
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me Your Holy Spirit as my Guide and Companion for life. Thank You for loving me unconditionally, even when I act in ways I know I shouldn’t. Make me aware of any unconfessed sin I’ve held on to, so I can repent and continue to move forward with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (ESV)
Galatians 5:22-23a, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control …” (ESV)
Infuse new life into your relationship with God by studying how the early believers lived out Holy Spirit-fueled faith in the book of Acts. The First 5 study of Acts just launched this week! Get the Acts Experience Guide here and download the free First 5 app today.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
The Holy Spirit works within us to reveal the truth of God’s Word in every aspect of our lives. He always points us to Jesus and brings glory to the Father.
As a true believer, your relationship with God is secure in Christ. Don’t let sin hinder your vibrant fellowship or quench the Holy Spirit’s workings in your life. Take a few minutes now and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself in an undeniable way.
© 2016 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 29 April 2016.