February 21st, 1987                                 "Grieve Not the Holy Spirit of God"                                   Bro. Joshua Daniel

Ephesians 4:30-32

Verse 30, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God." I realised very quickly in my life, that I can grieve God, very greatly by my words– unnecessary and loveless words. People are not careful about their words. I notice, when darkness comes into a person he talks very lightly of persons with deeper experience than him in the Lord and talks about things which are not his business at all. Revival has been hindered by these things. If we are not right with God, we may be engaged in just profitless, futile acts. Whatever we do, there will be no blessing. So we have to see first whether we are right with God. We must not grieve the Holy Spirit in our words, in our thoughts or in our attitudes. Any attitude which is against the word of God grieves God. To regard and entertain feelings of class or caste grieves the Spirit of God. If we have an attitude of lovelessness on any account, God’s Spirit is grieved. If you have still got a little bit of class or caste in you, it shows that the devil still lurks in you. I cannot compromise in this matter. It is a subtlety of the devil. It blocks love. Anything that blocks love, is of the devil. If somebody says something to you which prevents you from loving another brother, go and tell him, "Those words you told me about that man have interrupted my love for him." Why, why should we listen to somebody’s words and lose the presence of God? If we cannot bring any blessing to others by our words, let us be silent. Why should we make others grieve God? They are going to repeat that same thing to others. How is it going to help those others who hear it? Where is the godly caution in us that we should not grieve the Holy Spirit?

I cannot say there is the full manifestation of God’s power in our work. That is because of one or two of you or some of you. There is something in your life that is hindering the full working of God’s love and power. In a meeting for our trainees and workers I found a young man serving in a certain area. There was also another young man allotted to work in that area. Both were farmers. Both had debts because of the loss in their farms and were not free to move out on errands of the gospel. I asked if there was oneness of spirit between both of them. They were silent. A third man replied, "That is the thing missing." I felt sad. I called them, loved them and gave them a little money to get rid of their debts quickly. I told them, because we are working in very easy places, love is also cold amongst us. If in each of our centres two or three were martyred, we would have greater love, greater concern and oneness amongst us. Because healing is easily obtained and material blessing received, we are tending to lose out on love. When material blessing increase, love does not generally increase. With material goods come a kind of leanness into the soul. When you are a spirit-filled man, your heart will not be upon these things. You will not be satisfied with them. Your words reflect your spiritual life. How detrimental it is when we are not edifying each other with words full of love! It is very harmful and very destructive to a growing work like ours. Instead of augmenting the river of faith, we will be depleting the river of faith. That is a device of the devil.

Verse 31, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:" I do not think, it is necessary to say this to anyone led of the Spirit. Where does evil speaking come? Where do unnecessary words come from? Where do unnecessary stories float around? Only where there is no love; only where God’s Spirit is grieved. Nowhere else. Where the Spirit of God is working, oh a longing for souls fills your heart. Where some loveless heart entertains prolonged bitterness, I see God is beginning to work in judgment. How does compassion grow in our hearts? By growth in love. Compassion has nothing to do with outward appearance. A certain family came to me to the platform in Stuartpuram. They said, "Twenty-three years, we did not have any children. You prayed for us last year and here is this son." It was a nice beautiful boy. His complexion was very dark brown. What a beautiful boy! "Bring him up very carefully for God." I said. Compassion has nothing to do with external appearance. You just love because you cannot help it. Nothing should interrupt the flow of love. It is grievous to God. Verse 32, "And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you." The strength of this Fellowship is love. We have discipline too. But discipline should be an outcome of love. When discipline becomes heartless and legal, then that is not acceptable to God. Love does not trample on truth. Truth is spoken with love. That way truth is palatable.

I have great sympathy for students who are going up for examinations. When they ask for prayer, I say to them, "Are you converted? I will first pray that you may be converted. Then all the other blessings will follow." I cannot help saying that. If I should just say, "I am going to pray that you should all be blessed in the examination—that is not the proper love. It is a wishy-washy kind of nebulous love. That will not be the love of God. Love and truth can never be separated. Love speaks the truth. Love springs from the medium of truth. Truth by itself without love is ineffectual. One very zealous young man said to me, "Why is it, that wherever I go to win souls I am a failure?" I said to him, "You are speaking the truth. But you are speaking it without love. So you are defeated." If we cannot speak with love, we should not speak. Those words are wasted. We should correct people, but we should correct people with love. Otherwise, we will not be effective. This Fellowship has been effective because of love. If we are going to take love out of this Fellowship, then it is finished. Let us be careful and let us repent for our loveless attitudes.