Hosting the Holy Spirit
By: Apostle Skhumbuzo Sangweni
Study Scripture: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:30-32)
As we are temples of the Holy Spirit one of the primary endeavors of our life should be learning how we can be proper hosts of the Holy Spirit. What is it that blesses and pleases Him? What is it that grieves Him? Certainly we should all make a supreme effort to “not grieve the Holy Spirit,” but it seems that few people connect with how we actually do this. In fact, almost every exhortation I have ever heard about that grieves the Spirit has been related to how people tend to interrupt what He wants to do. Somehow I don’t think this grieves Him very much. After all, isn’t patience one of the primary fruits of the Spirit? Certainly He is patient enough not to be grieved at mere interruptions. We are told in the verses above what grieves Him—bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, or malice. To the degree that these remain in our life we are making His home in us uncomfortable at best.
Bitterness is almost always rooted in unforgiveness. Wrath is retaliation for wrongs or perceived wrongs. Anger is basic selfishness that is usually the result of feeling that our rights or interests were somehow violated. Clamor is that disturbance we cause by the agitation of our soul that is the result of all of the above. Slander is simply uniting with the devil, the “accuser of the brethren” to do his evil to God’s people. Malice is the result of the devil having a deep root of evil that he is able to maintain in our soul. By maintaining these things in our life we are actually being a better host to the devil than we are to the Spirit.
I know as a father one of the things that irritates me the most is when my children fight with each other. Likewise, one of the things that blesses me the most is when they are tender-hearted, forgiving each other, and getting along. As we are told in Proverbs 21:9, “It is better to live in a corner of a roof, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Do you think that this “contentious woman” could be the bride of Christ, and that the Holy Spirit would rather live somewhere else until we learn to get along? After all, this Scripture was inspired by the Spirit too.
Good teaching and preaching is important for the health of any church, but one moment of the manifest presence of the Lord can accomplish more than years of just teaching. If we are in pursuit of genuine New Testament church life as it is intended to be, our number one devotion should be to become the place that the Lord loves to dwell in. This is true whether we want Him to dwell in our homes, or in our services. Therefore, if we are not going to grieve Him we must put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, or malice. If we are going to bless Him we are going to have to start loving and forgiving one another.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, make me a suitable host of the holy Spirit, that I may not grieve Him, remove from me all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and slander. Cause me to be tender-hearted, kind and forgiving towards others, purify me from all that which agrees with the enemy in me. I pray this in Jesus’ name!
Confession: I confess that the Holy is pleased to dwell in me, I’m free from all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and slander. The accuser of the brethren has no place in me. I forgive others just like Christ has forgiven me. In Jesus might name.