He may lift you up

I have been reading first and second Peter for the past few weeks, and I keep revisiting certain portions as memories and emotions pop up. One section of 1 Peter in chapter 5 can teach us all so much about humility.

Have you ever had an encounter with someone, or maybe even a friendship with someone that always talked to you and treated you as if you were less than? We all know who this person in the group is. The person always seems to have to one-up everyone as they look down from their “high tower.” The one who has all the wisdom with nothing to learn from you. Have you ever received a gift from someone and could tell it was really about the person saying, “look what I did”? I am sure you have even seen a lot of examples of this in the workplace as well, maybe with a boss or someone trying to get that promotion up for grabs. The pesky Spirit of competition, false humility, and pride grieves the Holy Spirit inside of us. In today’s culture, these traps are everywhere, and we all need to keep these emotions in check, remembering that only good and perfect gifts are when God provides the increase.

Let’s check out what God inspired Peter to share with us…

So, you might be asking yourself, “what does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit”? To understand this, it’s essential to know that if you are a child of God, the Holy Spirit lives inside you. Before Jesus died on the cross for us, He told His disciples they would receive a helper once He was gone. The Holy Spirit and eternal life is God’s gift to us through the death of His son Jesus. Because Jesus is no longer here on earth as a man to help set an example, we receive His Spirit, the Helper. The job of the Holy Spirit is to connect us with the throne room of God, helping us avoid a life filled with curses and hopelessness.

Here are some of the things the Holy Spirit does through that connection.

  1. The Holy Spirit connects us to God’s power.
    • Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
  2. The Holy Spirit connects us to God’s love.
    • Romans 5:5 “Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
  3. The Holy Spirit connects us to Jesus’ intercession for us and His people.
    • Romans 8:26-27-  “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
  4. The Holy Spirit teaches us and reminds us.
    • John 14:26- “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
  5. The Holy Spirit convicts us when we are disobedient to God’s purpose for us.
    • Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NLT)- “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”
  6. The Holy Spirit helps us live abundantly.
    • Romans 8:12-13 NLT- Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.
  7. The Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ.
    • 2 Corinthians 3:18- So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.
  8. The Holy Spirit causes us to overflow.
    • Romans 15:13- “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
  9. The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts.
    • “It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.” 1 Corinthians 12:11

After learning how many amazing things the Holy Spirit does for us, how could we ever want to grieve Him? Heaven is perfect, and the Holy Spirit has the power to connect us with glimpses of that perfection while we are here on earth! I love how Charles Spurgeon explains what happens when we grieve the Holy Spirit.

You will lose, my dear friends, all sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence: he will be as one hidden from you—no beams of comfort, no words of peace, no thoughts of love—there will be what Cowper calls, “an aching void which the world can never fill.”

Grieving the Holy Spirit
Charles Haddon Spurgeon – October 9, 1859

Now, when we feel as though someone is belittling us either directly or passive-aggressively, we have two things to consider.

  1. How we will let it effect our worth
  2. How we will respond

Going back to our first scripture in 1 Peter 5:5-7, God speaks directly into our worth, combatting those words and actions that were meant to make us feel less-than. He tells us that He opposes the proud and shows favor to the humble. What a fantastic promise! Let God Himself tell you what you are worth, daughter. Those words and actions that have told you that you aren’t enough – rest in knowing that God opposes the pride of man! Rebuke that emotion of feeling unequipped when you walk into a room. That feeling is not of God. You are the righteousness of God, chosen and anointed. God, Himself, goes before you.

    The tricky part is our response. If we respond in our flesh, we can quickly find ourselves in a mess, grieving the Spirit. Let’s get curious. What is usually the first response we have in those moments? To defend ourselves? To accept the lie that we are “stupid” or “not enough”? To take revenge in our own hands by gossiping about them later? To become bitter inside our hearts towards that person? If we are honest, each of us just had the Holy Spirit remind us of when we responded that way. In Peter, it tells us the proper response is to humble ourselves (don’t miss this) under God’s mighty hand. Shew, thank you, ABBA. God, right now in this moment we ask you to take us higher…

    When those moments happen now, I get a vision of God rushing in immediately to place His hand over me while His other hand comes up against the prideful, hateful, attacks of the enemy. Knowing God’s hand of protection is over me so clearly in those moments makes me want to fall to my knees in gratitude for His powerful and neverending love for me.

    Mikhael Armao

    The fantastic thing is, you shouldn’t be ashamed if this hasn’t always been your response. Welcome to being human! Receive God’s neverending mercy, daughter of the King! Even though we grieve the Holy Spirit by responding that way, repentance will immediately make the Holy Spirits’ voice the loudest voice, once again! Repentance is such a beautiful and powerful gift we have. When we are convicted for responding to pride with pride in these moments, we get to come to the Father and ask Him to forgive us and walk away from that sin with our heads held high! If we aren’t making mistakes, we aren’t growing.

    I want to encourage you to keep making mistakes and pressing into the word of God for answers. In our community, we make messes. We make mistakes. Why? Because we are growing, and we know that only God has the power to provide the perfect increase.

    If you want to pray with someone, you can always reach out to our prayer team. If you’re going to repent for a prideful response in those moments, but are not sure what words to say, here is something we invite you to pray with us in agreement.

    Pray this now and let the Father’s love wash over you.

    “Heavenly Father, I am so sorry for responding to pride with pride. I am asking that you would forgive me. Thank you for protecting me under Your mighty hand. Thank you for reminding me that I am precious in Your eyes. Thank you for giving me everything I need to accomplish what you have created me to do. Thank you that only I can do what you have created me to do; I am unique. Thank you for teaching me how to respond in those moments and revealing yourself to me. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for drawing me back again. Your love, mercy, and grace deserve all the praise. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.”

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