“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”—Eph. 4:30.
Charles Spurgeon shared the following in a sermon featured in the new volume Walking in the Power of the Holy Spirit (emphasis mine):
[V]ery briefly—much too briefly—[I will share on] the lamentable result of the Spirit’s being grieved.
In the child of God it will not lead to his utter destruction, for no heir of heaven can perish; neither will the Holy Spirit be utterly taken away from him, for the Spirit of God is given to abide with us for ever. But the ill-effects are nevertheless most terrible.
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.”
Grieve the Holy Spirit, and you will lose all Christian joy; the light shall be taken from you, and you shall stumble in darkness; those very means of grace which once were such a delight, shall have no music in your ear. Your soul shall be no longer as a watered garden, but as a howling wilderness.
Grieve the Spirit of God, and you will lose all power; if you pray, it will be a very weak prayer—you will not prevail with God. When you read the Scriptures, you shall not be able to lift the latch and force your way into the inner mysteries of truth. When you go up to the house of God, there shall be none of that devout exhilaration, that running without weariness, that walking without fainting. You shall feel yourself like Samson when his hair was lost, weak, captive, and blinded. Let the Holy Spirit depart, and assurance is gone, doubts follow, questionings and suspicions are aroused.
“Do I love the Lord or no? Am I his, or am I not?”
Grieve the Spirit of God, and usefulness will cease: the ministry shall yield no fruit; your Sunday School work shall be barren; your speaking to others and labouring for others souls shall be like sowing the wind. Let a Church grieve the Spirit of God, and oh, the blights that shall come and wither her fair garden! Then her days of solemn assembly shall have no acceptance with heaven; her sons, although all of them ordained as priests unto God, shall have no acceptable incense to offer. Let the Church grieve the Spirit, and she shall fail to bless the age in which she lives; she shall cast no light into the surrounding darkness; no sinners shall be saved by her means; there shall be few additions to her number; her missionaries shall cease to go forth; there shall be no marriage feasts of communion in her house; darkness and death shall reign where all was joy and life.
Brethren, beloved in the Lord, may the Lord prevent us from grieving his Spirit as a Church, but may we be earnest, zealous, truthful, united, and holy, so that we may retain among us this heavenly guest who will leave us if we grieve him.
You may also be interested in: 15 Books on the Holy Spirit