Anne Graham Lotz: Stop Trying to Earn the Holy Spirit’s Love

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-17, CSB).

What do you know about the one whom Jesus promised He would ask the Father to give us, in His absence? How much do you know about the Holy Spirit? Growing up, I can never remember being taught about the Holy Spirit. I knew His name because the pastor of the little mountain church I belonged to always ended the Sunday morning service with a benediction in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He was also mentioned at weddings when the bride and groom were pronounced joined together in the same three names, or when someone was baptized. But it wasn’t until I began studying the Bible in order to teach it that I increasingly got to know this one we refer to as the third person of the Trinity. I discovered He is not spooky; He is not an “add-on” or an optional extra in the Christian life. He is a divine necessity. Yet one misconception of who He is lingered in my thoughts.

When I received Jesus as my Savior, my assumption had been that the Holy Spirit was “assigned” to me. I thought He had come into my life because He had no option. I was now His “job”—His responsibility. My view of Him was that He was strictly professional, a perfectionistic stickler for details and someone who would keep me in line until one day He would present me to the Father and say something like “Here she is. I’ve done My best to work with what I had.” This harmful misconception could have led me to living a lie, as I would have tried hard to impress Him. I could have burned myself out trying hard to earn His love.

Then one day, while reading my Bible, I was gripped by the following: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30, NIV). While I understand that Scripture is warning us not to intentionally, willfully sin, the word “grieve” caught and held my attention. I reflected on grief in my own life and knew I had experienced that emotion only when I deeply cared about someone or something. I grieved when my mother went to heaven. I grieved when my husband followed her there about eight years later. I grieved when my father joined them both. And I realized that “grief” is a love word. I grieve because I love my mother and my husband and my father.

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SOURCE: Charisma News