Here are five ways you might be blocking the power of God’s Spirit in your life.
Grieving the Spirit
You can actually grieve the Holy Spirit by not confessing sin (Eph 4:30). Just as a person grieves over the loss of a loved one, the Spirit is said to be grieved when we sin (Eph 4:26-30). That will not only block the Spirit of God’s power, it will actually grieve the Third Person of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit. He is called “Holy,” because He is holy, and is God, but He also works to create holiness in us, but unconfessed sin blocks that growth.
Quenching the Spirit
The Apostle Paul says that it’s possible to quench the Spirit of God because that’s just what he told the church at Thessalonica: “Do not quench the Spirit”(1st Thess 5:19). When we quench the spirit, we’re trying to silence what God is trying to say to us or motivate us to do something by the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Sometimes we quench God’s Spirit without even knowing it.
Ignoring the Spirit
This is what unbelievers do. They ignore their conscience and suppress the knowledge of God, and even though they really know that God exists, the push back that knowledge in their consciences. Paul writes, “by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Rom 1:18), and “although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom 1:21). After a person ignores their conscience for so long, eventually God will just give them up to their own depravity.
Resisting the Spirit
When Stephen was on trial for his faith in Christ, he bluntly told the Jewish religious leaders, “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you” (Acts 7:51), and all you need to do is read about ancient Israel’s history to see that it’s true. They resisted God every step of the way, so God allowed them to wander in the wilderness for forty years until that generation was gone. God may put us in a “wilderness” for a time, until we stop resisting the Holy Spirit and His power.
Not Following the Spirit
When Paul wanted to go into Asia to preach the gospel, it was said that the Spirit blocked him from doing so (Acts 16:6). This didn’t mean Paul wasn’t following the Spirit, but the Spirit was trying to make Paul to go where He wanted him to go, and not where Paul wanted to go. The Holy Spirit always seeks to have us do the will of the Father, and so when we resist the Holy Spirit, we resist God Himself.
We need all the help we can get from God’s Spirit in not grieving the Spirit, in not quenching the Spirit, in not ignoring the Spirit, in not resisting the Spirit, and in not following the Spirit. When we block God’s Spirit, we also block His power working in us. That’s important enough reason to not grieve, quench, ignore, or resist the Spirit of God, but rather, to follow the Spirit.