(from Mike Murdock’s book…3 Most Important Things in Your Life.)
The Holy Spirit is HOLY. Words matter to Him. Conversation is important to Him. Our conduct and behavior is monitored continuously.
Seventeen Facts Every Christian Should Know About Grieving the Holy Spirit -
1. The Holy Spirit is easily grieved and offended.
Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:29-32)
2. He will withdraw His manifest presence when He has been grieved and offended. (Hosea 5:15)
3. You must permit the Holy Spirit to correct you when you have offended Him. (Any words that wound the influence of someone not present are disloyal words. Disloyalty is unholy. It is so important that we permit the Holy Spirit to correct us, and prevent us from saying anything that is grievous to Him. His presence must be valued. His Presence brings joy, peace and calmness in spirit. We cannot afford a day without His Presence.
4. The Holy Spirit is the reason we should avoid accusatory and unflattering conversation about others. He withdraws! His absence creates sorrow and heaviness of spirit. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Jehovah, my Rock, and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14) Oh please don’t grieve the Holy Spirit! Whatever the cost! Whatever it takes, don’t offend the One Who stayed. The love of God has been so misunderstood. His mercy has been taken for granted by millions. “Oh well! God knows my heart,” laughed one lady when her pastor asked her why she had not been to church in several months. She had been taking vacations, spending her time out on the lake on Sundays. Yet, she had become so accustomed to ignoring the inner voice of the Holy Spirit, her conscience has become seared and numb.
5. It is a dangerous moment to assume that access to the Holy Spirit is frivolous or permanent. Oh, treasure His Presence today! His Presence keeps you soft toward Him. His Presence keeps you hungry and thirsty. When you do not pursue His Presence, the danger of becoming calloused and hardened is very real. A minister once told me, “I never dreamed I could get this far from God.” As I looked at him, I was shocked. Here sat a man who had preached with fire in His soul, love pouring through his heart, many years before. But, he had offended the Holy Spirit, over and over again. Now, the Holy had withdrawn from him. He had even lost his hunger and thirst for God. When you feel troubled in your spirit, thank God for such a troubling! Millions have ignored Him so long that the fire of desire has died out…only ashes remain.
6. There are seasons for repentance provided by the Holy Spirit. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that kills the prophets, and stones them that are sent unto her! How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37)
7. The presence of God yesterday does not guarantee the presence of God tomorrow. Look at what happened to Saul. He had known the anointing. God selected him. God touched his life. The prophet of God anointed him. Yes, ‘the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. (1 Samuel 16:14). He died the death of a fool.
8. Great men dread the horror of the absence of the Holy Spirit. The psalmist knew the terrifying seasons when the Holy Spirit seemed withdrawn from him. David had been with Saul. He experienced evil spirits departing as he played his harp. He saw the touch of God on Saul come and leave. He cried out after his terrible sin with Bathsheba, ‘Cast me not away from Thy Presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me’. (Psalm 51:11) Now some theologians laugh at David’s confession and pursuit. Thousands of ministers say David was wrong, that the Holy Spirit could not withdraw from him. (Don’t kid yourself. He had observed King Saul’s deterioration before his own eyes.)
9. Every seasoned minister has encountered someone who no longer experiences the deep wooing of the Holy Spirit. If you have spent much time with people, as a minister of the gospel, you will meet many from whom the holy Spirit has appeared to withdrawn His pulling and drawing. No, He doesn’t do it easily or quickly. He is longsuffering. He is patient. But repeated rejection of His drawing has devastating results.
10. Emptiness occurs after you have grieved the Holy Spirit. The Song of Solomon contains one of the saddest photographs of love rejected and lost. ‘I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn Himself, and was gone: my soul failed when He spoke, I sought Him, but I could not find Him; I called Him but He gave me no answer’ (Song of Solomon 5:6)
11. Rejection of Him always produces desolation. ‘Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. (Matthew 23:38)
12: Rejection of the Holy Spirit can be fatal. Jesus taught it clearly. ‘Remember Lot’s wife’, (Luke 17:32) The angels had appeared personally to escort Lot and his family from danger to safety. But, she took it lightly. Their instructions became unimportant. She rebelled and did what she desired. She became a pillar of salt.
13. Satan often lies to someone about the withdrawing of the Holy Spirit. He makes them feel that it is useless to pray, futile to reach, and hopeless to believe for a change. Satan often tells people that they have sinned ‘the unpardonable sin’, when the opposite is true. Most have never read these terrifying words in Hosea 5:15, ‘I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early.’
14. Restoration is possible after you have offended the Holy Spirit. I raise my voice with Hosea today: ‘Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord:’ (Hosea 6:1-3)
15. If you have a deep desire for God, the Holy Spirit is still at work. That’s how you know if you have not sinned the unpardonable sin! The Father is the One who draws you. If you still have within your heart a sincere desire to know God and an appetite to pursue Him, you have not yet sinned the unpardonable sin. You see, only God can draw you. If He is drawing you, it is not too late. You still have a chance for a miraculous experience with Him.
16. Treasure the drawing toward the Holy Spirit today as a gift from your Heavenly Father. ‘No man can come to Me except the Father which has sent Me, draw him: and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God’. (John 6:44,45)
17. Conversation can grieve the Holy Spirit. ‘Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption’ (Ephesians 4:29,30)
The author tells the following story:
I will never forget a conversation in Washington, DC. I came down from my hotel room full of joy and enthusiasm. I had been praying in the Spirit throughout the day. I could not remember happier hours or days in my life. When I sat down to eat, the name of someone came up. I was talking with two of my staff members. When this name came up, I made a statement: “I like him, but he is rather lazy.” The conversation continued. After about one hour, I returned by my hotel room again. But something was wrong. Something had changed since I had gone to supper! As I began to lift my hands and sing to the Holy Spirit, a cloud of heaviness and a shadow on my heart appeared. Something was out of order. So not really knowing yet what was wrong, I simply began to sing louder and become more aggressive in my worship. Yet the heaviness in my spirit continued.
Suddenly, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “Why did you tell them that this young man was lazy?” I stopped. Then I replied almost defiantly to the Holy Spirit – “Well, because he is lazy!” “You have offended Me,” the Holy Spirit spoke into my heart. I thought for a moment. Then I replied: “Well, he did not hear me anyway. He is over 1,000 miles away!” “I heard you, and you offended Me.” I tried another approach. “Well, Lord, it is true that he is lazy, and I would tell him to his face!”
Suddenly the Holy Spirit stopped me. He brought my mind back to Philippians 4:8, where He gave us the criteria and guidelines for proper conversation “whatsoever things are…” True, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report. virtuous, praiseworthy. As He began to deal with my life, my heart began to break. I saw that I had spoken in a destructive way about someone who was precious to Him. Thoughts that do not qualify for meditation, do not qualify for conversation. If it does not qualify for my mind, it did not qualify for my mouth.
Picture a mother showing you a photograph of her baby. Can you imagine her response to you if you began to sneer and make fun of her child! “What an ugly child. I despise that child! That mother would withdraw from you instantly. Yet it happens in your own life every day. The moment we begin to discuss the flaws of those not present – the Holy Spirit withdraws.
A few weeks later one of my staff members approached me. I asked the purpose of the appointment. She was upset with another staff member. “Then let’s call her and have her hear your accusation against her,” I reached for the telephone. “I really would grieve the Holy Spirit if I discuss the flaws of someone not present, unable to defend themselves.” “Never mind, then! I don’t want her to hear what I’m saying! Let’s just forget about it.”
Imagine if every church congregation would focus for twelve months on proper conversation about others. Imagine what your home would be like if every family member would only speak well of each other. You see, we have been taught to avoid saying bad about people because – they may find out about it. Oh, my precious friend, that is not the only reason to avoid wrong conversation. Others warn, “What goes around will come back around.’’ That, too, is not the rigt reason for avoiding destructive words about others.