In the book of John, Jesus says to His disciples:
If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:15–18)
Notice two vitally important facts: first, Jesus comes to us in the Holy Spirit; second, unless we relate rightly to the Holy Spirit, we are like orphans even though we are truly sons of God. You see, it is the Holy Spirit alone who enables us to live as true sons of God. This is brought out very clearly by Paul in Romans 8:14: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God [and that is a continuing present tense—as many as are being continually led by the Spirit of God], these are sons of God” (NKJV).
The word that is used for “sons” here implies maturity—not merely babies or infants, but grown sons of God. We are babies when we become born again by the Holy Spirit. But, in order to become mature sons of God, we need a further, ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit. We must be continually led by the Holy Spirit; thus Paul says very definitively, “As many as are [being continually] led by the Spirit of God, these are [mature] sons of God.” Thus, to become a child of God, you have to be born again of the Holy Spirit; but, to become a mature son of God, you must have an ongoing relationship by being daily and continually led by the Holy Spirit.
I observe in the Church today that there are many who are truly born of God but who are not regularly led by God. They know the new birth, but they do not know that continuing relationship with the Holy Spirit that alone can enable them to live as mature sons of God. So, if you want God’s best, you must cultivate an ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit as a person. He is your personal guide, the administrator of the riches of the kingdom of God, who alone can impart all these things to you in experience.
There is one further important fact in our relationship with the Holy Spirit. We must be respectful and sensitive toward the Holy Spirit. Paul brings this out clearly in his letter to the Ephesians:
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, 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. (Ephesians 4:30–31)
Remember that we said at the beginning that the Holy Spirit is compared to a dove, a timid bird that is easily scared away. So, when Paul says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit,” he means, “Don’t scare that dove away.” He then mentions the things that scare the dove: bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, along with every form of malice. We must be very sensitive, not saying or doing anything that would frighten away that beautiful, sensitive dove, because He is the only one who can bring us into our inheritance and enable us to live daily as mature sons of God.
Holy Spirit, I want to be delicate with You. I am leaving all bitterness, anger, evil, shouting and gossip out of my life so that I can live with You in an ongoing, daily relationship. Because of You I do not have to live any longer as an orphan, but I can learn to be an adult child of the Father. Amen!
(If you would like to learn more about the Holy Spirit, Derek’s small booklet ‘Who Is The Holy Spirit’ might be of help for you.)
This devotional is taken from