The Holy Spirit is a person. A very, very sensitive person at that. He gets grieved or hurt easily.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption”
The scary thing is that we never know at the time that we grieve the Spirit. Samson was seduced by a woman named Delilah and lost his hair and anointing. The Bible says that when Samson jumped up to fight, only then did he realize something was wrong: “But he did not know that the Lord had left him” (Judges 16:20). That verse scares me to death because I have learned the same thing! When you grieve the Holy Spirit-whether by losing your temper, lusting, or speaking about someone in an unflattering manner- you may feel nothing at the time. In fact it, almost always seems right at the time.
But what happens is this; when you grieve the Holy Spirit, He slips away without you knowing. Unlike the gentle dove who remained on Jesus (John 1:32), he unobtrusively flutters away. The Holy Spirit leaves no hint that He has done that. The goal of spirituality is partly to close the gap between the moment when we observe the manifestation of the Spirit and our actual affirmation of it, as David did, so likewise must we learn to close the gap between sin and repentance.
In other words, how long does it take to tell that grieving the Spirit is precisely what I did?
David had reached the place in his spiritual pilgrimage where he recognized in minutes if not seconds when he grieved the Holy Spirit. Study his life, and you will see times when he succeeded greatly in listening to and obeying the Spirit.
Then there were times when he should have listened and obeyed, but failed miserably. Jeremiah 12:7-13 speaks of the time when a believer leaves sweet fellowship with God. Primarily he is speaking of leaders and pastors, but it applies across the board. When you leave sweet fellowship, there is a need to return to the Holy Spirit so the dove does not fly away again.