It is very possible to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, why, because He is a gracious, loving, and tender God. “And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?” (Isa.7:13).
All the attributes of God are attributed to the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth, of glory, of wisdom, of holiness, of grace, of anointing, the Spirit of peace and our comforter, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth:” (Jh.16:13).
To grieve the Spirit of God is to hinder His loving and merciful operations in our heart, and thereby impoverish our lives, and weaken our most earnest efforts in the service of Christ.
We may grieve the Lord by unholy and profitless talk according to (v.29, 31). Communications that are not to the use of edifying, but which have a corrupting influence must be grief to Him who is “Holy” and who has come to take the things which belong to the incorruptible Christ and show them to us, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” (v.31).
The Spirit of Truth can have no fellowship with idle talk and evil speaking, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (v.32).
We may grieve the Spirit of God by ignoring His Presence. If our earthly friends dealt with us as we often deal with the Holy Spirit, we would be surely sicken.
To live in the same house with one and be seldom recognized must be a great hardship, ”Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it,” So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” (Eph. 5:23,28).
Common recognition is absolutely essential to the care of real friendship.
Don’t grieve Him by the coldness of forgetfulness. The Lord new the works of the Laodicean church, “thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
We may grieve the Spirit of God By Rejecting His Teaching. It was by rebelling against His leading that Israel vexed His Holy Spirit “ But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them, (Isa. 63:10).
The Spirit of God is seeking to lead us into the truth as it is in Jesus, that we might be sanctified and made meet for His use, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth,” (Jh.16:13).
We grieve the Spirit of God when through unbelief, we refuse to accept His teaching, or to obey His leading, (Heb. 3:13) declares, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
If we are not growing in grace, and in the knowledge of God, we may well suspect ourselves of disobedience to the Lord’s Spirit. The spiritual man is spiritually born, led, minded, renewed, sealed, filled and freed, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (II.Pt.3:18).
It must be a great grief to God that His gracious work should in any way be hindered in us, Paul stated in (Gal.4:11),”I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”(Gal.4:11).
We may grieve the Lord’s Spirit by coverting things which He Hates. The Spirit of God is opposed to sin in every form. Beware of doing anything which your conscience, enlightened by the word of God, forbids you to do, beware of gushing into temptation, beware of indulging in fleshly lusts, beware of practising deceit and falsehood, beware of profaning the Lord’s Day, beware of cherishing evil and malignant tempers.
All worldliness and self-seeking are hostile to His nature and mission.
Are we more sensitive than the Holy Spirit is? If we are ashamed to rebuke what He rebukes, and to exalt what He exalts, then we are not in the fellowship of the Spirit.
Let us not be one of them that has blasphemed the Spirit of God, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Mt.12:31).
Grieve not the Spirit of God by encouraging the ungodly in their sin. Let us not forget Samson and his evil ways.
We may grieve the Spirit of God by grieving the Children of God. Uncharitable thinking which leads to uncharitable speaking, must grieve Him who is the Spirit of love and of unity, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Gal.6:1,2).
Whatever tends to alienate the affections of God’s people, one from another, is a striving against the workings of the Holy Ghost. “That they all may be one,” was the prayer of Christ. “That they all may be one, ” is the working purpose of the Spirit of God.
To hinder this oneness is to grieve the Spirit of God marring the unity of the Body, which He is so eager to maintain, “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts,” (Heb.3:7). Let us open our heart unto the Holy Ghost that we may have unity one with the other.
We may grieve the Spirit of the Lord by trying to servethe Lord in our own strength.
The Holy Spirit that lives in us has come that we might have power to witness for Christ. To speak and labour in our own strength is a denial of His mission in our life, and must be a great grief to His heart, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (I.Cor.10:12).
How sad it must be to our mighty God to see his servants whom He has come to empower, substituting fleshly energy and worldly policy for His subduing, quickening presence. Yes we may grieve the Spirit of God in six ways, by open and gross sins, anger in all forms, licentious thoughts and desires, ingratitude, neglect, resistance.
When the Spirit of God is grieved by such self-profession, the evidence of it is apparent in a formal, fruitless life, (II.Tim. 3:5) declares, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
A grieved Spirit not only means a powerless testimony, but also a lack of the enjoyment of the love of God in the heart. If this love is to be shed abroad in our hearts, we need the power of the Holy Ghost, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Rom.5:5).
We may have our lamps, and we may have a measure of light, like the foolish virgins, but if we have not that reserve of oil which is to be found only in the presence of our God. “They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them…. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out…. but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves…. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us…. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”