Grieve Not the Holy Spirit

by | Nov 17, 2010 | Spirit-Led Living

Daily my heart is cleaving more closely to Christ and getting more
detached from earthly objects. The weaning process is going on. I find
the closer I get to the heart of Infinite Love—the nearer to the Son of
Righteousness—the more sensitively do I feel, to my heart’s deepest
core, everything that is contrary in spirit, word or action to the law
of love.

If we do, indeed, get nearer to the Son of Righteousness,
we cannot help but see with greater vividness everything that is
unrighteous and unlovely. And then the sight of the eyes will affect the
heart.

What must the sufferings of the Savior have been during His sojourn on
earth! How continuously must His gentle, pure spirit have been
lacerated! I have seldom had such a perception of what the keenness of
His sufferings must have been, as since I have been pursuing the above
train of thought. It appears as though His entire stay on earth, from
childhood to His expiring groan on the cross, must have been one
continuous crucifixion.

So it is for us when we are one with Him. But others do not always perceive or understand our heightened sensitivity.

“Do you feel such things?” someone once asked me, after
having been the means of subjecting me to a humiliation which, had it
not been for its religious association, would have branded him as
exceedingly uncourteous. From his manner in proposing this inquiry, I
presume he thought my professions of deadness to the world involved a
deadness of all the finer sensibilities of the soul.

His misperception may have been based on his observation
of the way those who are truly sanctified in body, soul and spirit
endure woundings of the spirit—with a lamb-like, uncomplaining temper.
They receive with only slight outward manifestations of pain things that
before would have been avenged or in some way resented. In imitation of
their divine Redeemer, they, “as a sheep dumb before her shearers,”
open not their mouths.

But if this silent submission has been regarded as an
intimation that the uncomplaining one does not feel or has not been
wounded—how greatly the reverse is the fact!

He has been wounded, and far more deeply wounded
than your oft-blunted sensibilities can imagine. He retires noiselessly
because He whom he serves has said, “The servant of the Lord must not
strive.”

God Will Avenge

You may never again on earth hear about your unloving
words and actions, but are they untold? It is true they may never be
breathed in mortal ear, but shall they remain unrevealed? No! “Their
angels do always behold the face of My Father” (Matt. 18:10, KJV).

An unseen messenger was standing by, and, as you gave the
causeless offense, that winged messenger went with speed and told it
directly to the ear of God. And will the triune God hear it, and take
cognizance of the act? Yes! And He will avenge. True as God is true,
retribution awaits you.

“Vengeance is mine,” saith the Lord (Rom. 12:19). “Whoso
shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were
better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he
were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6).

It is a meek and quiet spirit with whom you have
contended, and since God gave that spirit it is of great price in His
sight. It ought to have been of great price in your sight as well.

Do you persecute Christ?

Christ’s persecutors are not always those who are of the world.

Perhaps you are an erring child of God. Your wife, your
husband, your child, your brother or sister, or perchance some friend
with whom you have been closely affiliated has entered into the
enjoyment of perfect love. You have witnessed his increasing deadness to
the world. Things that, at one time, he could enjoy in common with
yourself, now pain his heart, while from the depths of his soul, he
cries out to God, “Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity” (Ps.
119:37).

Following Christ, the Light of Life, his soul is becoming
more and more conformed to His image. He loves the things God loves and
hates the things He hates.

How uneasy these marked preferences have made you! Because
you cannot get him to see as you see and do as you do, with how many
unkind allusions have you pained the loving heart of that gentle one,
whom, in defiance of yourself, you cannot help but love and admire!

Conscience tells you that you are wrong, and you know it.
Still you persist. Your opposition, perhaps, may be merely fitful—yet
you continue to oppose, and as the occasion arises, you infer, by your
unloving allusions and by silent action and innuendo, that you intend to offend that gentle, loving heart, whose every pulsation is in unison with God for your good.

O, do so no more, not only because “their angels do always
behold the face of their Father,” but because you are sinning against
your own soul’s best interest! God is love. Every unloving look, word or
action is an abhorrence to Him.

“By the love of the Spirit,” I beseech you, “grieve not
the Spirit” (see Eph. 4:30). Would a dear friend, however intent on your
good, abide with you, if the feelings of his sensitive heart were
continually being attacked by oft-repeated assaults? So the Spirit will
not always strive.

Recognize that you are in danger. Seven other spirits
worse than the first may enter. And what will you do, should that
fearful hour come upon you without the aid of the Spirit whom you have
grieved away? Let him that standeth take heed lest he fall.

Be assured, by one who knows, that the restiveness you
feel when the stricter forms of piety are presented before you is most
evidently indicative of the remains of the carnal mind. “The flesh
lusteth against the Spirit” (Gal. 5:17).

If you yield to it, you sin against God. For in sinning
against His people, you sin against Christ as though He were here in
person. By the light of a truly Christian example, you have been
reproved. Acknowledge your error, and seek a holy heart.

Phoebe Palmer (1807-1874) was a forerunner of both the
Holiness and the Pentecostal/charismatic movements. This selection is
adapted from
Incidental Illustrations of the Economy of Salvation by Phoebe Palmer. Published by Henry V. Degen, Boston, 1855.

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