Daily Devotionals

Ghost: Week 1 - Thursday

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

It might surprise you, but the Holy Spirit has feelings. We learn this from Scripture that you can actually make the Holy Spirit sad. He is grieved when we don't live the right way. He knows that when we follow Jesus and the standards God called us to, we live an abundant life. He also is aware of the great pain, isolation, and hurt we experience when we live outside of the will of God. He rejoices when we follow God's lead, and He also weeps when we decide to go our own way.

The Apostle Paul knew the importance of living a life that didn’t make the Holy Spirit grieved. Specifically, when Paul makes this statement, he is addressing the struggle that the Ephesians had with their words. In anger, they would tear one another down, gossip, and speak badly about others. He was reminding them to use kind words that were compassionate. Paul wanted them to know that when they flew off the handle in rage, not only were they hurting one another, but they also were making the Holy Spirit sad. Often, this same passage is used and misinterpreted to say that the Holy Spirit can leave a believer when they fall into sin. That is not what Paul intended in writing this. The Holy Spirit doesn't leave us, but He is grieved when we get sucked into sin and the lost opportunities as a result.

What this brings out is that the Holy Spirit is a person. He is not an impersonal force or a mystical ghost, but instead, is active in our life. Our actions affect Him just as they would a close friend. When we choose a path He knows will hurt us in the end, it grieves Him. On the other side of that, when we make decisions to honor God with our lives, to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to share the good news with others, He rejoices. How do you think the Holy Spirit is feeling about your life today?

Moving Toward Action

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. He will never leave you, and He wants to help you. In light of the fact that He has been walking with you, is there anything in your life right now that He would rejoice over? Is there anything in your life that He might be sad about? Take some time to process those questions and journal in the space below.

Going Deeper

Read Ephesians 4:17-32 (NLT)

With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

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.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.