Recently I’ve been learning a lot of new things about the Holy Spirit, and it’s been really cool. In our faith, it’s easy to let the Holy Spirit fall by the wayside. We tend to focus on “the big guys” of the Trinity: God and Jesus. Jesus is like the rock star of the Christian faith, but the truth is, we would be powerless and lost as Christians if we didn’t have the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and reveal things to us. It’s the Holy Spirit who gives us power as followers of Christ, but we’re supposed to be in regular communication with Him.
Often, I hear you girls talk about not feeling close to God or not hearing His voice. Well, when we talk about hearing the voice of God, we’re actually talking about hearing the Holy Spirit. If you aren’t hearing the Holy Spirit, ask yourself, “Who’s the focus of my relationship?”
Our relationship with the Holy Spirit needs to be on His terms. We don’t get to dictate the terms of our intimate relationship with God’s spirit. We have to meet the Holy Spirit according to His desires. One way we can do this is by becoming more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s feelings—what makes Him sad and what makes Him glad.
It isn’t just anything that makes the Holy Spirit glad or sad. The Bible tells us exactly what saddens and gladdens the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:17-32 has a lot to say about this. Here are a few examples.
- Hardened hearts make the Holy Spirit sad. Having a hardened heart means having a calloused heart. I’m learning to play the guitar right now, but I’m sure Christi could tell you that guitar players develop callouses on their fingers from practicing. Callouses cause your fingers to lose sensitivity. Is there anything in your life that has caused you to be less sensitive? For me, that thing is TV. I’ve realized lately that some of the things I watch on television have caused me to be less sensitive to things that should break my heart the way they break God’s heart. What can you do to help your spirit become sensitive again?
- Lying makes the Holy Spirit sad, but it makes Him glad when we tell the truth!
- Stealing makes Him sad, but when we work hard and give generously, we make Him glad.
- When we use “foul or abusive language” (Eph. 4:29) or when we use our words to hurt people more than love them, the Holy Spirit grieves. But He is glad when our words are good and helpful to others, when they’re used for encouragement.
If we want to get to know the Holy Spirit better, we need to know what makes Him happy and what makes Him sad. We need to change the things in our lives that have caused us to be less sensitive to the hurt and pain in others. The reason we sometimes have a hard time hearing the Holy Spirit isn’t because He isn’t there or doesn’t want to talk to us. We don’t hear Him because we’ve set things in the way between us and Him, or we’re living our lives in ways that make Him sad.
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. —Ephesians 4:30-32
Girls, what could you change in your life that would make the Holy Spirit glad and help you hear His voice better?
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