1. 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 pushback 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Harboring a Grudge
When we are holding a grudge against someone, it’s like a nagging thing in our mind that we quite can’t shake. The Spirit convicts us when we sin, but when we refuse to confess them, we can be grieved by God’s convicting Spirit. David said “my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3a), and it was “when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer” (Psalm 32:4). Unconfessed sin can put God’s heavy hand upon us just like holding a grudge can.