Am I making the Holy Spirit sad? What does that actually mean and how do I know if I am doing this?
Ephesians 4:30 (NLT) reads: “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.” I make the Holy Spirit sad if I choose my own way and do my own will instead of allowing the Spirit to lead me. I make the Spirit sad if I don’t obey Him.
When I realise that I cannot live a life of overcoming sin without the help of the Holy Spirit, it becomes very important that I listen to His voice!
I can have a very busy life, but if I don’t learn to “focus on the things of the Spirit” in the middle of all the activity, I will not be able to hear His still, small voice in my heart. When I do not listen to Him, I end up making the Holy Spirit sad, because He has so much to tell me that will bring me joy and happiness, and He wants to lead me to a life where I am free from sin and free from myself.
Making the Holy Spirit sad by being disobedient
Jesus called the Holy Spirit “the Helper” and promised: “But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth.” John 16:13 (NCV). All Christians should follow in the footsteps of Jesus, He who did no sin. But we don’t know how to do this on our own - we need to be led step by step by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will never force us to obey but wants to help us come to a life of overcoming sin - the happiest and most fulfilling life a person can ever live. The Spirit will always tell us to humble ourselves under God’s hand (1 Peter 5:6), because He knows that this is the only way to overcome sin. When we don’t want to follow this good guidance and choose our own way instead, we make the Holy Spirit sad.
According to Acts 5:32, God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him. The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit and our sinful human nature are completely opposed to each other, so we cannot obey the Spirit and our sinful nature at the same time. That is why we read in Ephesians 4:30-31 (NLT): “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live … Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.”
Overcome sin by the Holy Spirit
The good news is that the Holy Spirit is also the One who gives us power to obey and to overcome these sins that are part of our human nature! When God sees that we really want to obey Him, He sends His Holy Spirit to help us do just that. Jesus told His disciples that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. I must be filled with the Holy Spirit if I want to live an overcoming Christian life.
God’s Spirit is in His Word. When we “drink deeply” of the spirit of faith that is in the Bible, we get power in temptation to overcome sin and do God’s will instead of our own. But if we wander around in our own thoughts and ways, too busy and lazy to drink from the fountain of faith and power that is in God’s Word, we will make the Holy Spirit sad.
But we don’t need to make the Holy Spirit sad! He knows our weaknesses. He knows that we don’t even know what to pray for in the right way. But He is always there to help us if we ask Him. Romans 8:26-27 explains this and even says that the Holy Spirit prays for us so that we can find God’s will and do it. Then we will truly experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit and His power.