To Know The Holy Spirit, He Cannot Be Grieved
The number one thing you must understand about the Holy Spirit is that He is a person. He is the third person in the Holy Trinity. I’ve often heard the Trinity explained through a comparison with water. Water has three different forms, solid, liquid, and gas, but all three are still water. God is three people in One: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While the Holy Spirit is a person too great for us to fully comprehend, He's a person nonetheless.
His incomparable greatness is often what keeps people from pursuing a lifelong journey of getting to know Him more. But how can we be more comfortable with abstract ideas like vibes and energies than the truth of a person too mighty to be reduced to our limited understanding? It may be hard to believe that there’s something too great for you to fully understand, but just because you can’t believe it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. You can refuse to believe in having speed limits but that won’t keep you from getting pulled over!
In Genesis 1, God beautifully describes the creation of galaxies, planets, land, water, seasons, and animals, right down to humans. Genesis 1:26 explains how humans are different than any other creation because God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Every human has a mind, a will, and emotions that make up the soul. Therefore, if humans were created in the image of God, The Holy Spirit is a person with a mind, a will, and emotions as well. He wants a relationship with you just like any human relationship you may have with someone.
If you are going to develop a true understanding of who the Holy Spirit is, some transformation and renewal must occur. Your mind is finite and sinful; therefore, it is impossible for you to know and understand anything holy on your own. In fact, you’ll never fully know the Holy Spirit by learning through books, studies, or sermons, but by experiencing Him. It begins and ends with Him!
Paul teaches in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Because you were born into this world, you naturally think with a worldly mindset and are naturally driven by your flesh. However, once you’ve asked Jesus into your heart, a transformation must take place for you to adopt a new way of thinking.
How do you begin thinking like the Holy Spirit? Romans 8:6 explains what you must do, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Set your mind on the Spirit. That means you must decide every day to lay down your own way of thinking and allow the Holy Spirit to guide your thinking.
When you ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His power and presence daily, He begins to transform your mind by creating entirely new ways in which you think about things. He’s not interested in doing a little spring cleaning by tidying up your thoughts and getting rid of things that are of no use anymore. The Holy Spirit is all about a new creation, not a fixer-upper. He makes all things new!
You can grieve the Holy Spirit with your mouth when you lie and say sinful things. Paul was very clear about how not to use your mouth, “So stop telling lies” (Ephesians 4:25) and “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (Ephesians 4:29). The words you speak are incredibly important and can have a great impact on your relationship with the Holy Spirit. There is no such thing as a little white lie. No matter the size or color, a lie is a lie. If you’re not careful, what starts as one “little white lie” becomes one’s habit of telling lies. The more you lie, the easier it becomes.
The same is true with sinful language. James, the brother of Jesus, gives this warning, “And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself” (James 3:6 NLT). If you’re not careful with the words you speak, your mouth will grieve the Holy Spirit and cause His presence to leave.
Your moods can grieve the Holy Spirit if you are allowing anger or unforgiveness to take root in your life. Ephesians 4:26-27 tells us, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” When we give into our anger, the devil takes the opportunity to create a division that allows bitterness to grow into hatred.
One morning, my wife and I had an argument and got angry with each other. I remember saying, “I’m done arguing. I’ll just go to church to study and prepare for Sunday.” I secretly hoped that while I was gone, she would realize she was wrong and apologize to me.
I flipped pages in my Bible for hours that morning, but it got to be 3 PM and nothing had come of my study time. I stopped what I was doing to call home, and when she answered, I said, “Barbara, I was wrong. I love you and I’m sorry.” She apologized too, and we made things right. When I got back to studying for my sermon, it was as if scriptures were jumping off the page, points came to my mind, and I found illustrations quickly. My sermon was prepared by the time I left for the day, and it was all because the dove had come back.
The Holy Spirit is a person with a mind, a will, and emotions which He directs towards making God’s children more like Christ. He desires closeness with you, but His incomparable greatness and holiness require you to adjust. You must set your mind on Him and be sensitive to His Spirit. Yet, you cannot do these things in your own strength. Only through being filled with His power and presence can you experience the incredible transformation into the person you were created to be!
To read more from Benny Tate’s ‘Unlimited,’ visit MyCharismaShop.com