But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. - Galatians 5:16
Many of us struggle through our days because we do not feel the presence of the Spirit, but He is there - He is with us at all times. We don't always feel the Spirit because we forfeit His presence with our choices. We cannot act in accordance with the world or the way our flesh desires, and expect to be filled.
We’ve learned we grieve the Spirit when we do things the spirit doesn't want us to do. To grieve is to feel deep pain or sorrow. When I ponder that I bring deep pain or sorrow to the spirit of God, I am filled with sadness. But the reality is that I do, all the time. When I place myself over others, or my agenda over His, when my idols take precedence over Him, like my children or my job, when I covet or do not honor Him with my words, when I do anything I know that is disobedient to Him, I grieve the Spirit. He's always there, but when He is grieving, it is more difficult to hear His voice.
We cannot be filled with the Spirit if we reject the urgings of the Spirit either. We will not experience true love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, or any of the other fruit if we say no to the Spirit. If we can say no in an unceasing way, we will get to the place where we will never be able to hear the Spirit's urging. Our hearts will be hardened, and the Spirit will not be able to fill us. We cannot lose the Spirit once we have it. We can silence the Spirit with our choices so that we no longer hear it, but we cannot lose it. If someone who was once a believer denies Christ, they did not lose the Spirit. Either they never had it in the first place, or they have hardened their hearts by rejecting the Spirit's urgings.
I long for the constant state of being filled by the Spirit - the joy and the inner peace that come from knowing Him and being filled by Him cannot be achieved by anything here on earth. I cannot work for that peace or that filling - it is not in my power. God has made no provision for me to live the Christian life, only for Him to live his life through me. The Holy Spirit IS the Christian life, through every yielded follower - our lives are not our own. When you feel distant, when you feel alone, when you feel overwhelmed, or when you're struggling to make a decision and you just cannot hear God's wisdom - those are all signs that you need to be filled. Yield to it. Confess all known sins - allow the Spirit to bring to mind anything that needs to be confessed. Ask the Lord to reveal to you how you are grieving, quenching, resisting the Spirit. How much we miss because the spirit isn't able to speak to us! Seek Him and you will find Him. Then yield yourself completely to the Spirit and ask Him to fill you. We must be ready to allow the Spirit to use us in any way they see fit.
When His Spirit is quiet inside of me, I think the fruit I notice absent the most is peace. I know I’m struggling when my peace is disrupted, when chaos has taken over calm, when emotions run high, when conflict is back. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. When the Spirit is strong in me, I am at peace.
Our God is a god of peace. The whole story of redemption, the death and resurrection of Jesus, is God's plan to bring about peace - between man and himself, and between man and man. As the children of God, we are to be peacemakers - we must seek peace within ourselves and with others in everything we do. Seeking peace within ourselves starts with seeking out the places where fear and anxiety live within our hearts. Peace is not the absence of pain and grief in our lives, it is the absence of fear and turmoil. The only way to rid my heart of fear and turmoil is to allow His Spirit to fill me.
I want to live a life for Christ. I want the people who know me to see His beauty and His light shine from me, especially those who don't know Him yet. But He doesn’t radiate when I grieve Him or when I quench Him. Confessing my sin this morning that grieves His Spirit, and asking Him to fill me up again.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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