Ephesians 4:30 says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” In the Holy Spirit, we have relationship with a God who feels, has joy and grief, is happy and unhappy, and has real thoughts and desires for the way we live our lives. The Spirit longs for us to live in communion with him, forsaking that which grieves his heart that we might experience the abundant life that only comes through wholehearted surrender to him. And it’s because he has specific desires for the ways we should live that we have the potential to grieve his heart.
If we are to ever experience all that’s available to us in this life, we must learn to pay attention to the feelings, thoughts, and desires of the God within us. We must seek and find peace in our spirits that comes from the peace of the Holy Spirit. Scripture makes a powerful and direct connection between obeying God’s word and peace. Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.” Isaiah 32:17 says, “And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.” And Psalm 34:14 says, “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
The desires of the Holy Spirit for our lives are perfectly aligned with Scripture. In fact, the Spirit longs to bring revelation to our hearts about how to apply and obey Scripture in our everyday lives. He longs to apply his words to our circumstances, situations, and thoughts that we might enjoy all the abundance that comes from obedience to God’s word.
It’s vital that we as believers living in union with God learn to take notice of how he feels, what he thinks, and where he’s leading us. We must grow in our knowledge of how he speaks to us and leads us. If you feel unrest in your spirit that doesn’t seem to make sense, take time to ask God if he’s speaking. If you feel weird about doing something, saying something, or thinking something, take a minute to ask God if he’s trying to tell you something.
The use of Scripture is incredibly important in growing in peace with the Holy Spirit. It’s so much easier to discern his thoughts and feelings if we have Scripture in our minds and hearts for him to point to. The greatest way to confirm that you are discerning the will of God is to ask him to bring back to mind a Scripture that goes along with his leading. God will never tell you to do something contrary to Scripture. He will never lead you in a direction that is not in perfect alignment with the words he’s so perfectly given you in the Bible.
Learning to discern how the Holy Spirit thinks, feels, and leads is an absolutely crucial part of experiencing peace. Engage in the process of growing in relationship with the Spirit. Take notice of ways in which he might be speaking. Ask him to grow you in your ability to think, feel, and act in union with his will. You have a fully loving, powerful, faithful, and able God dwelling within you. May you experience the fullness of life that comes from peace between you and the Holy Spirit.