Are you silencing the Holy Spirit?

Anna Collins

Why am I not hearing from the Holy Spirit? It’s a question that has been by asked by Jesus followers for centuries, and one that could have several answers. 

It could be that you don’t understand how God speaks to you. It could be that you are not spending time in His Word, or that in the bustle of life, you are having trouble discerning God’s voice from all the other noise.  

We may not be experiencing the fullness of the Holy Spirit because we have pushed Him away. 

There are tons of reasons you may not feel like God is speaking to you, but have you ever considered that you may not be hearing from God because you stopped listening to Him?

It’s true. As Christians, we may not be experiencing the fullness of the Holy Spirit because we have pushed Him away. 

Don’t get me wrong, God loves us always, and the Holy Spirit is always present to us. The Holy Spirit is a person, not some distant and faraway being. He directs us and guides us, and how we respond to Him affects our relationship with Him.

How to Know You’re Ignoring the Holy Spirit

In 1 Thessalonians 5:19, Paul tells the church, “Do not quench the Spirit.” Quenching the Spirit is what happens when we don’t listen to the Spirit, when we do what we know is wrong following our own worldly desires.  

Imagine the Holy Spirit as a fire. When we quench the Holy Spirit, we are dampening God’s flame instead of fanning it, pushing it down instead of helping it grow stronger and more beautiful. 

As Christians, we should feel conviction when we sin. It’s one of the ways the Holy Spirit guides us. But when we ignore that conviction and continue in the same sin, we will find it harder and harder to hear the Holy Spirit because we have spent so long ignoring Him. 

In Ephesians 4:30-32, Paul also tells the church, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”  

Grieving the Spirit actually means just that — to cause the Holy Spirit grief. When we live in sin, when we live the way we did before we knew God, we make Him sad and we push away all the goodness He has to offer.

Quenching and grieving the Spirit both come from choosing our own selfish desires over love, faith, and intimacy with God. Both cause us to miss out on experiencing the fullness God offers us.  

Learn to Listen Again 

The Holy Spirit is our helper (John 14:26). God gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us grow. The same Spirit that convicts our heart of sin, loves us with a perfect love. The same Spirit that causes us to feel guilt also gives us grace and makes us new.

Listen for the Holy Spirit. Recognize when He is convicting you. When we understand that He wants what is best for us and we do what He says, we will step into a fuller and richer relationship with God.  

God knows we are not perfect. He knows we will make mistakes, but like any parent, He wants us to listen when He corrects us so that He can lead us to the life our hearts truly desire.  

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