When David sinned against God with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11-12) and the sin was exposed, he went into a state of deep confession and repentance for his wrongdoing. Psalms 51 provides some information regarding his prayer of confession and repentance. In verses 10-11, he pleaded with God not to take His Holy Spirit away from him. In his prayers in verses 10 and 11, David said, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”

He recognised that the Holy Spirit is gentle, tender and loving and that He is very easily offended by our sins. Consequently, David begged the Lord not to take away His Holy Spirit from him. Without the Holy Spirit, he was fully aware that his life would have been meaningless, unfruitful and vulnerable to all forms of attack from Satan.

From the writings of the apostle Paul and others in the New Testament, we learn a lot about the nature of the Holy Spirit and how He can be offended. If we truly want to be a friend with Him, then we would have to ensure that our life is at par with His moral and ethical standards. This does not mean that we will never sin against Him, what it does mean, however, is that we are quick to confess, repent, and restore relationships. Our Father is always willing to forgive and receive us back into fellowship with Him.

There are different ways in which we can stymie our relationship with the Holy Spirit. It is incumbent upon us to ensure that we do not offend Him. The apostle Paul spoke of ways in which our relationship can be affected.        

Grieving the Holy Spirit

In Ephesians 4:30-31, the apostle Paul wrote, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.” There are things in our lives, which can grieve the Holy Spirit. Wrong thoughts, wrong attitudes, wrong conversation and going to the wrong places can all have a negative impact on our relationship. 

Quenching the Holy Spirit

In 1 Thess.5:19, the apostle Paul admonishes us, “Do not quench the Spirit.” As water quenches fire, our deeds in life can quench the Holy Spirit. Prayerlessness, a life that lacks devotion and subjugation of the Word contributes to quenching the Holy Spirit.

One can lie to the Holy Spirit

Doctor Luke in his Gospel wrote of an incident in which a man lied to the Holy Spirit and died as a result. In Acts 5:1-3, Luke wrote, “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Nevertheless, Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?”

Resisting the Holy Spirit

Again in Acts 7:51, Luke spoke of a people whom he described as “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.” To resist is to oppose or push back. Believers, as well as unbelievers, can stand in opposition to the workings of the Holy Spirit. Quite often for believers, this is done in ignorance of the Word and knowledge of the Holy Spirit. 

The Unpardonable Sin (Mark 3:28-30)

Perhaps, the most serious offence to the Holy Spirit is to blaspheme against Him. Jesus described blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as an unpardonable sin. He cautions us to be mindful against such sin. “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

When the Holy Spirit operates in our lives, He brings peace and joy. Let us open our hearts and receive Him in His fullness.

Photo by Al Ishrak Sunny on Unsplash

Paul Mursalin is a member of the International Board of Barnabas Fund from Guyana.