Sensitivity To The Holy Spirit

Personal Relationship With The Holy Spirit

The purpose of the Holy Spirit coming into the church is for us to win the world for Jesus. Anyone who says they want the Holy Spirit and do not care about winning souls for Jesus is missing the whole point. Jesus should always be the center of everything we do. We welcome all the moving of the Holy Spirit but the purpose is always for people to meet Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit And Our Process

When we get delivered and saved, God takes us from deliverance to development. And from development to our destiny. Egypt is where the deliverance happens. The wilderness is where the development happens. We call it discipleship or sanctification. This is the period where God is working with us, pruning us, and changing us. Then, God brings us into our destiny. Destiny is serving God but there is always a different shift in purpose. This same process happens with almost everything in life – marriage, school, children, and so on.

The Work Of The Holy Spirit In Our Development

That is when we are in between deliverance and destiny. For many of us, development is being in-between where we used to be and where we should be. The Holy Spirit wants to help us with development. When we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to develop us, we begin to decay. That is, we begin to turn this challenging, difficult season into a season that is even more challenging and difficult. Sometimes, this gets to the point where we don’t even make it.

“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.”

Hebrews 3:7

This is the Holy Spirit speaking about Himself. I always thought what Israel did and went through in the wilderness was done against Jehovah God the Father. But here the Holy Spirit reveals that this was done against Him. The Holy Spirit is a divine Person. Person meaning He has a personality and is Someone you can talk to. He is not a force, atmosphere, experience, myth, or feeling. The Holy Spirit is a Person you can know and experience.

The Holy Spirit In New And Old Testament

In the New Testament, He is the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of the Lord in the Old Testament. That is why in the Book of Acts when Peter confronted Ananias, he said he lied both to God and the Holy Spirit. He interchangeably used the word God and Holy Spirit. As christians, we believe in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Do we fully understand it? No. However, please understand, the Trinity is not three Gods. It is one God in three Persons. The Holy Spirit is a Person in the Trinity.

A God You Can Understand

The truth is, you wouldn’t want a God you can fully understand. He would not be worthy of your worship. I don’t comprehend how a brown cow eats green grass and produces white milk but I still drink it. In the same way, you do not have to fully comprehend the God who created the galaxies, universe and everything therein. You cannot fit Him into your understanding. You want a God you can trust, who deeply loves you and calls you His own.

Israel’s Development Stage

This scripture in Hebrews is referring to Israel’s development. This was their in between, trial, and wilderness time. I want to share four thoughts for you to think about and practice that will help you if you are in this season.

Do Not Surrender To Your Circumstances Or Surroundings

We should surrender to the Holy Spirit instead of our surroundings or circumstances. When you hit a hard time, the enemy will use the hard time to make your heart hard. He will use difficult times to make you difficult. The in between season is a challenging season. It is very difficult. The mistake we make is that we grieve the Holy Spirit as Israel did.

“But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; So He turned Himself against them as an enemy, And He fought against them.”

Isaiah 63:10

What I missed here was that God said they grieved His Spirit and because they grieved God’s Spirit and rebelled against Him during their development, intimacy between them and God was broken. God always stands for His Spirit; He loves His Spirit.

How We Grieve The Holy Spirit

When difficult times come, one of the ways we grieve the Holy Spirit is we surrender to a lesser god, which is our problem or situation. We make our problem into a god – a thing we yield and surrender to. If you are not a Christian, you don’t have any other options but to surrender to the doctor’s report, heartbreak, or bills. But if you have the Holy Spirit, He is greater than your problem and while you don’t ignore the problem, you yield to the Holy Spirit. Surrender to the Holy Spirit.

In Hebrews 3:8, the Holy Spirit reveals that it was Him we hurt in our time of trials and difficulty as did the children of Israel. The Holy Spirit was the one who was grieved and rebelled against in the wilderness. Because of this rebellion, intimacy between God and His people was broken, to the extent they became foes of God.

Humbling Ourselves Before The Holy Spirit

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,”

1 Peter 5:6

It does not say humble yourself under the mighty hand of your cancer, or arthritis or that your kids don’t serve God. Many of us were humbled under the mighty hand of our situation; we surrendered to our surroundings and conformed to our world and that grieves the Holy Spirit. Why? Because He is more powerful than your situation.

The Holy Spirit does not like it when we are in a difficult situation and we give our attention, love, obsession and worship to that issue and all our emotions get sucked into the vacuum of that problem. He wants us to come to Him and say Lord, this is hard but I choose to worship my God; I don’t worship my emotions, feelings, problem, doctors report, bank account statement or heartbreak.

The devil wants us to worship the problem and be obsessed with that. We honor the Holy Spirit when we surrender to Him in spite of our problem. When Israel was going through development, they surrendered to their problem instead of God. They forgot God’s past faithfulness, present promise to be with them and they despised God’s future promise.

Past, Present, And Future

When we surrender to our problem, a few things happen. Firstly, we develop amnesia to what God did. Everything He did in the past no longer matters to us; all that matters is the sickness or bills or present trouble. This grieves the Holy Spirit. It is not that there is no problem but that He is so much greater than the problem. God doesn’t like it when we obsess over molehills and turn them into mountains. Instead of obsessing with the One who created molehills and can move mountains.

In the most difficult and challenging season, fight for your focus to keep it on the Holy Spirit. Fight for your focus to surrender to God, not your problem. Your situation might not change but do not let it change your focus.

In the fight, when the devil remind you of your past, remind him of his future.

How To Surrender To The Holy Spirit

When times get hard, how your surrender to the Holy Spirit is you remember God’s past faithfulness. Count God’s blessings one-by-one. Remember His present presence with you. God always tells us not to be afraid and He usually gives us one reason: He is with us. God told Joshua be strong and very courageous because I am with you wherever you go. Jesus went further and said, I am with you always even to the end of the age. That means Christians, you have a reason not to be afraid and that reason is God’s present presence with you right now through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Surrender To The Holy Spirit Not Your Surroundings

Don’t test the Holy Spirit, don’t try the Holy Spirit; trust the Holy Spirit. In Hebrews 3:9, God says they tried Me and tested Me. The only place we can test God is in tithing. That is the only area where we are given the right. In every other place, we are not to test God. When you test something, you are challenging its authority, intention, and power.

When satan tested Jesus in the wilderness, when the Pharisees demanded a sign, when people challenged Jesus to come down from the cross, He never responded with a spectacle for their entertainment. Jesus never performed to satisfy skepticism.

Faith And Trust

The difference between faith and trust, as outlined by Pastor How and Lia in the book Generations, is that faith is active, trust is passive. Faith says, God, I got you. Trust says, God, You got me. In the time of trial, you rarely will have energetic faith. You will have passive trust and that pleases the Holy Spirit. He knows it is hard. Passive trust is the greatest form of warfare and faith when hell breaks loose.

Your identity is not in your issue; it is in the Holy Spirit. In this time, the devil will even lie to you that God will not manifest His power in your life because you don’t have the aggressive faith. But I want to remind you that Proverbs 3:5 says trust in the Lord with all your heart. sometimes, you cannot fight anymore but you can rest on God in trust. Trust God has got it. You don’t need to know how just trust.

Just Trust

Sometimes your faith is like the Centurion – just send the Word and my servant will be healed, my issue will be solved. Other times, it is just the undying trust of the paralysed man at the pool. Sometimes, we are in that place. I do not condone doubt or skepticism but I want to encourage you that when it is hard to fight in faith, rest in trust. Sometimes, in development, that is all you have to do: trust that God has you.

Job had a lot of questions for God but He said this, I know my Redeemer lives and in my flesh, I will see God. Meaning, I will see God in my future. The devil isn’t showing up in my future. That is real trust. Trust is expecting God to show up in our future. Fear says the devil will show up and mess everything up like he did last time. Trust says I know God will show up in my future.

During your trial in development, trust the Holy Spirit when you can no longer exercise active, aggressive, passionate faith. Share on X

How The Holy Spirit Develops Us

The Holy Spirit will develop us if we replace complaining with communion with Him. Replace complaining with communion, grumbling with gratitude, and whining with worship. What messed Israel up and grieved the Holy Spirit was what they said with their mouth. Israel always used their mouth as a thermometer to notify the Lord of what they felt and that grieved God. It is okay to process things, and in worship, come to God and express your feelings like David did. However, it is quite another thing when you make it your habit and part of your character to be a whiny, complaining, grumpy, negative and toxic individual.

You Don’t Have To Say It Because You Feel It

Jesus felt hunger and so many things during His trial in the wilderness but He did not say them. You don’t always have to say what you feel. Our culture worships therapy, counseling, and processing your feelings. That has its place but many people use this to create the bad habit where everything that comes to their head comes out of their mouth. This has lead to the point that the majority of us are chronically complaining people. Complaining is to the devil what worship is to God. God inhabits worship, the devil inhabits grumbling. It is no wonder that when Israel grumbled in the desert, snakes came. When you worship, the dove comes. When you complain, snakes come. If snakes bite, it doesn’t just go away; it releases venom. Venom goes into your system and starts to shut things down.

Demonic spirits are attracted to constantly complaining, grumbling, negative people. The more you constantly grumble, the more the Holy Spirit withdraws. The Bible even says it in Philippians 2 that we should do everything without complaining or arguing. Enter into God’s court with thanksgiving, not whining.

He Doesn’t Leave When Grieved

The Holy Spirit doesn’t just leave us when we grieve Him but His sweet presence does. Distance happens. When we grieve the Holy Spirit, we feel distant from Him. It is not that He is far from us but like a grieved spouse, there is distance between them. Most of the time, the Holy Spirit will not even say that He is grieved. He will leave and you won’t even know that He left. He doesn’t announce His departure. So, how can you know that the Holy Spirit withdrew? When your peace of mind is gone and your soul no longer has stillness.

When His presence begins to depart, the amazing thing is we can always have it come back when we repent. However, this departure of the sweetness of the Spirit’s presence creates a window of opportunity for the demonic to attack. The difference between people who keep their relationship with the Holy Spirit and others is they don’t give a long gap between their sin and repentance.

The Holy Spirit rested and remained on Jesus because He never did anything that offended the Spirit. We are human and we make mistakes but don’t silence that little voice that convicts you. That is the mercy of God telling you to wake up because the dove is leaving if you don’t repent. Gratitude is more important than grumbling. Worship is more important than whining.

You Can Complain

Now, does all this mean we can never complain? Of course it does not. But after we complain, get out of it and if necessary, repent to the Holy Spirit. Don’t get stuck in complaint and let it develop into a habit and bad character. When we complain, our soul has a field day. The more we let our soul express itself, the more soulish we become and we are meant to be ruled by the spirit, not the soul.

As a Christian, you have a spirit, soul, and body. Your spirit can be strengthened in the Holy Spirit to talk to your soul and body, like David did in the Psalms. When you allow your soul to manifest, it always reflects the circumstances. But when you allow your spirit to lead your soul, it can direct and lead it. We are not supposed to let whatever our soul feels come out of our mouth all the time. Those who do this are destroying with their mouths what they are building with their hands. For this reason, Jesus said it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a man. Israel said a lot of nasty stuff against God. They even went as far as saying they miss the garlic and cucumbers in Egypt, where they had been slaves.

We can silence the voice of our negative feelings by the help of the Holy Spirit. Share on X

What is the area the Holy Spirit first affects when He fills you? The tongue. We cannot control our tongues but when the Holy Spirit fills us, He begins to control it more and more. We need to speak in tongues more and in our known languages less.

Developing Sensitivity When Sight Fails

When you don’t see what you want to see as a Christian, you need to develop sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. When you are in the most difficult season of your life – in between places – you will only typically see bad, darkness, challenges, and problems. That was what Israel saw – problems, needs and worries. In the development, the Holy Spirit doesn’t change what we see, He changes what we hear (Hebrews 3:7).

Your hearing is going to be the key to change what you are seeing if what you are seeing hasn’t been changed. The Holy Spirit speaks because the only way He changes what you are seeing with your health, family, and finances etc, is to speak to you first. We don’t need the Holy Spirit at that point to open our eyes to see something different; we need Him to open our ears to hear what He is saying. The Holy Spirit speaks. When everything is dark and you don’t know what to do, open your ears because the Holy Spirit won’t be showing, He will be speaking. Develop sensitivity to hear the Holy Spirit because hearing will unlock seeing. Hear, listen, pay attention to the Holy Spirit, discern His moving and obey His whispers and He will change what you see.

How? We should pray until we hear. We should read the Bible until we are fed by the Spirit.

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