Daily Devotional February 11
“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.” (Ephesians 4:30)
During a discussion on the Holy Spirit and His fruit, after having read the above verse from Ephesians, the question was asked about how we grieve the Holy Spirit. It’s a good question. And the answer should be sobering for anyone who claims to be a Christian. Sobering in the fact that the Holy Spirit who lives within us has the capacity to be grieved and we are the ones who can bring about this sorrow. When we express our belief in Christ and make the decision to serve Him, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us—to serve as our Advocate and Comforter, to empower, guide, teach, correct and transform. For our part, we must cooperate and it is in this that we can bring both joy and/or sorrow to the Holy Spirit, who is Almighty God living within each of His children.
We are instructed to ‘let the Spirit renew [our] thoughts and attitudes’ (Ephesians 4:23), but too often we get caught up trying to clean up the exterior, rather than give the Spirit full reign to do a complete interior renovation. It is far easier to give the impression of goodness, than to allow the Spirit to do the work of making us good. We convince ourselves that a Christian-like veneer is all that is really required. This then permits us to validate and even pursue our own selfish desires, and ungodly thoughts, or so we think. But what was the instruction? It was not that we learn to curb our tongue and control our actions; the Spirit’s role in our lives is to renew our thoughts and attitudes. His is not simply a work of resurfacing, but of gutting the rot from our lives and replacing it with His good fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
As believers, we are quick to confess that ‘all have sinned’ (Romans 3:23). So why do so many Christians pretend a relationship with God and a level of spiritual maturity that they simply do not possess? We fall into the trap of believing that Christ-followers are to be perfect. Yes, our eventual heavenly state will be one of perfection; our earthly state is quite another story. Every day an inner battle rages between the Spirit and our sinful human nature. We are no longer bound to give into the temptations we face, but old habits are hard to kick. This ‘need’ to present a faith without struggles, leaves us without the support of other believers.
Which brings us to the flip side of the problem. Not only do we fear the judgement of others, we are quick to condemn fellow believers when the veneer of their Christian façade cracks and we are given a glimpse of the sin with which they struggle. No wonder James’ advice to ‘confess your faults to one another’ (James 5:16), goes largely unheeded. We do each other a great disservice when we ‘play church’ and hide behind a mask of false fidelity. Not only that, but we bring great sorrow to the one living inside us forced to watch our never-ending charade.
What’s the solution? Honesty…transparency…authenticity…submission…and obedience! Only then can the Holy Spirit do the amazing work of transforming us into His likeness, “with a new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24).
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!