Obstacles to the work of the Holy Spirit

Failure to be continually filled with the Spirit

(Acts 2:1-4 NIV)  When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. {2} Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. {3} They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. {4} All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Verse four of this passage uses the Greek tense called an ingressive aorist. That means that the event described was a one-time entry into an on-going experience.

(Eph 5:18 NIV)  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

Similarly the verse means “continue being filled with the Spirit”.

Many people had been baptized by the Spirit but seem powerless in either their ministry or their personal walk with God because they cease to continually fill themselves with the Spirit.

Grieving the Spirit

(Eph 4:30-31 NIV)  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. {31} Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

(Isa 63:10 NIV)  Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.

We grieve the Spirit when we sin against God. When we grieve the Holy Spirit, He leaves us, not in the sense that we lose our salvation, but in the sense we lose His precious work in our lives.

(Judg 16:20 NIV)  Then she called, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" He awoke from his sleep and thought, "I'll go out as before and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had left him.

(1 Sam 16:14 NIV)  Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.

After King David sinned by committing adultery with Bethsheba, he knew the consequences and pleaded with God not to take the Holy Spirit away from him.

(Psa 51:11 NIV)  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Resisting the Spirit

(1 Th 5:19 KJV)  Quench not the Spirit.

(Acts 7:51 NIV)  "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!