Grieving of the Spirit

There is widespread ignorance in many that are walking contrary to the leading of the Spirit. It is the norm for the sons of God to be led in the direction of God. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14) If we have a lukewarm heart, we have opened ourselves up to be led by the spirit of the world. Once this conceives we will lose our sensitivity to sin. Those who live this way will find themselves on the way to a medivac facility of some kind. Since sin is no longer “exceedingly sinful” (Romans 8:13) the commandments of God have no power to reign in sin. Having lost sensitivity to sin, a person can pursue multitudes of helps to assuage any guilt or shame that has burdened his soul. Sin has become dead because of the departure from the Word of God.  “For apart from the law sin is dead.”  Until one returns to the truth of God’s Word and sees sin as “exceedingly sinful”, he will never fall forward and cry out, “O wretched man that I am.” (Romans 8:24)

Furthermore, the Spirit of God has been sorely bruised by sins embraced. The admonition of the Spirit as our teacher has been abandoned; “teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age” (Titus 2:12). We have grieved the Holy Spirit. “Do not quench the Spirit of God.”  (I Thessalonians 5:19) The resulting effect of this behavior is the forfeiting of the Spirit’s guidance.

Oswald Chambers writes in his devotional work, My Utmost for His Highest; “The voice of the Spirit is as gentle as a zephyr, so gentle that unless you are living in perfect communion with God, you never hear it. The checks of the Spirit come in the most extraordinary gentle ways, and if you are not sensitive enough to detect His voice you will quench it, and your spiritual life will be impaired. His checks always come in a still small voice. So small that no one but the saint notices them.” He further writes, “Whenever the Spirit checks, call a halt and get the thing right, or you will be grieving Him without knowing it.”

 It is a tragedy to walk outside of the will of God where sin dwells. So many are violating the commandment of God and grieving the Holy Spirit. A mentor of mine, John Reisinger, wrote, “The more sincere a child of God is in his Christian life, the more he realizes the depth of his depravity and guilt. The more shallow his knowledge of sin, the more the person will excuse his sin and not be concerned about it.”  The latter is comfortable with rogue companions as well as the children of God. His character is witnessed by “facing both ways.” This temple is decaying spiritually and will proceed being barren and unfruitful. The Spirit is grieved. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

I believe the apostle Paul’s letter in I Thessalonians gives an appropriate admonition to avoid grieving the spirit. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality, that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion and lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore, he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has given us His Holy Spirit.” (I Thessalonians 4:3-8)

A final word from Octavis Winslow in his work, “Personal Declension and Revival in the Soul on grieving the Spirit”. “The declension of the Spirit’s work of grace in the soul of a child of God. What can grieve the Spirit more than this? It is an awful slight cast upon the most glorious and stupendous production of His power: nowhere has He erected a temple so glorious, and nowhere has He put forth energy so mighty, and in nothing has He so deeply imprinted of the outline of His holy character, as in the work of grace which He has commenced and carries on in the heart of man.”

Where the grace blows,