Grieving The Holy Spirit
The Spirit Can Be Grieved
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30.
I would that all my brethren and sisters would remember that it is a serious thing to grieve the Holy Spirit; and it is grieved when the human agent seeks to work himself, and refuses to enter the service of the Lord because the cross is too heavy or the self-denial too great. The Holy Spirit seeks to abide in each soul. If it is welcomed as an honored guest, those who receive it will be made complete in Christ; the good work begun will be finished; and holy thoughts, heavenly affections, and Christlike actions will take the place of impure thoughts, perverse sentiments, and rebellious acts.
The Holy Spirit is a divine teacher. If we will heed its lessons, we shall become wise unto salvation. But we need to guard well our hearts; for too often we forget the heavenly instruction we have received, and seek to act out the natural inclinations of our unconsecrated minds. Each one must fight his own battle against self. Heed the teachings of the Holy Spirit. If this is done, they will be repeated again and again until the impressions are as it were lead on the rock forever.
God has bought us, and He claims a throne in each heart. Our minds and bodies must be subordinated to Him; and the natural habits and appetites must be made subservient to the higher wants of the soul. But we can place no dependence upon ourselves in this work. We cannot with safety follow our own guidance. The Holy Spirit must renew and sanctify us. And in God’s service there must be no halfway work. Those who profess to serve God and yet indulge their natural impulses will mislead other souls. Said Christ, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). “This do, and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:28).—Manuscript Releases 18:47, 48.
Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. John 12:35.
Jesus says, “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.” Gather up every ray, pass not one by. Walk in the light. Practice every precept of truth presented to you. Live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, and you will then follow Jesus wherever He goeth. When the Lord presents evidence upon evidence and gives light upon light, why is it that souls hesitate to walk in the light? Why do men neglect to walk in light to a greater light?
The Lord does not refuse to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. When conviction comes home to the conscience, why not listen, and heed the voice of the Spirit of God? By every hesitation and delay, we place ourselves where it is more and more difficult for us to accept the light of heaven, and at last it seems impossible to be impressed by admonitions and warnings.
The sinner says, more and more easily, “Go thy
way for this time; when I have a more convenient season, I will call for thee” (Acts 24:25).
I know the danger of those who refuse to walk in the light as God gives it. They bring upon themselves the terrible crisis of being left to follow their own ways, to do after their own judgment. The conscience becomes less and less impressible. The voice of God seems to become more and more distant, and the wrongdoer is left to his own infatuation. In stubbornness he resists every appeal, despises all counsel and advice, and turns from every provision made for his salvation, and the voice of the messenger of God makes no impression upon his mind. The Spirit of God no longer exerts a restraining power over him, and the sentence is passed, “[He] is
joined to idols, let him alone” (Hosea 4:17). Oh, how dark, how sullen, how obstinate, is his independence! It seems that the insensibility of death is upon his heart. This is the process through which the soul passes that rejects the working of the Holy Spirit.—The Review and Herald, June 29, 1897.
The Spirit May Depart
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under
foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 10:29.
Those who resist the Spirit of God, and provoke Him to depart, know not to what lengths Satan will lead them. When the Holy Spirit departs from the man, he will imperceptibly do those things which once he viewed, in a correct light, to be decided sin. Unless he heeds the warnings, he will wrap himself in a deception that, as in the case of Judas, will cause him to become a traitor and blind. He will follow step by step in the footsteps of Satan. Who, then, can strive with him to any purpose? Will the ministers plead with him and for him? All their words are as idle tales. Such souls have Satan as their chosen companion, to misconstrue the word spoken, and bring it to their understanding in a perverted light.
When the Spirit of God is grieved away, every appeal made through the Lord’s servants is meaningless to them. They will misconstrue every word. They will laugh at and turn into ridicule the most solemn words of Scripture warnings, which, if they were not bewitched by satanic agencies, would make them tremble. Every appeal made to them is in vain. They will not hear reproof or counsel. They despise all the entreaties of the Spirit, and disobey the commandments of God which they once vindicated and exalted. Well may the words of the apostle come home to such souls, “Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians 3:1). They follow the counsel of their own heart until truth is no more truth to them. Barabbas is chosen, Christ is rejected.
It is essential to live by every word of God, else our old nature will constantly reassert itself. It is the Holy Spirit, the redeeming grace of truth in the soul, that makes the followers of Christ one with one another, and one with God. He alone can expel enmity, envy, and unbelief. He sanctifies the entire affections. He restores the willing, desirous soul from the power of Satan unto God. This is the power of grace. It is a divine power.
Under its influence there is a change from the old habits, customs, and practices which, when cherished, separate the soul from God; and the work of sanctification goes on in the soul, constantly progressing and enlarging.—The Review and Herald, October 12, 1897.