This post has been two weeks in the making. I really wanted to come on here and talk about the Holy Spirit; but honestly, I feel inadequate for the task. There are people much more educated than myself that can more accurately describe Who the Holy Spirit is. Yet, perhaps that’s why I feel the need to write it, to show that it’s the Holy Spirit that gives us all we need to do things we feel ill-equipped for. What I can tell you is that He’s a part of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He’s co-equal, co-existant, co-eternal with the Father and Son.
We see Him at the beginning hovering over the face of the deep (Genesis 1:1-2), we see Him throughout the Old Testament when men were temporarily filled with the Spirit to complete a particular task(s). We see Him in the New Testament in John the Baptist, Elizabeth, and Mary, as they prepare for the birth of Jesus, the Messiah (Luke 1). We see Him when Jesus is baptized in Luke 3. Jesus talks about Him, in John 14-16, describing Him as the Comforter, Helper, Teacher, and Spirit of Truth. Yet, even after all the Word says about the Holy Spirit–and my list is not all-inclusive–I can’t help but feel like we sometimes miss Who is is and what He’s capable of.
After the resurrection, Jesus commanded the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. “And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4-5). I’m sure most of you are familiar with what happened on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), but all the apostles and teachers found in the the book of Acts and all the epistles, written by the missionary, Paul, were written through the power of the Holy Spirit. Even the Bible itself, was written by men through the Holy Spirit!
Two Wednesday’s ago, as I was getting ready for bed 2 Peter 1:3, popped into my head…
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.2 Peter 1:3-4
His divine power. What divine power? Well, let’s see…could it be the very same power that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:9-11)?! When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our life, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us, and gives us power to do much more than just get from one day to the next (2 Corinthians 6:16). The Holy Spirit gives us everything we need “pertaining to life and godliness” [emphasis added]!
What does that mean? Godliness. When we talk about godliness we’re talking about being conformed to His will and likeness. Basically, the more time we spend with God in prayer, in the Word, in community with other believers, the more we begin to think and act like Him. This isn’t through our own doing, but the work of the Holy Spirit at work within us. He transforms our thinking, prompts us to act or speak, gives us boldness, and even the words to speak when we don’t have any clue what we’re doing.
How do we know the Holy Spirit lives in us? As stated previously, when we accept Christ, the Word says He comes to dwell in us, and the more we walk with God, study His Word, and allow Him to work in our hearts, we begin to see evidence of Him in our life, known as the Fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control begin to emerge in our lives (Galatians 5:22-25). That’s not to say that we’ll be perfect from the get go, but that it will become more and more evident over time, whom we serve and Who is at work in us. We cannot be in true relationship with God and not be transformed; this process is called sanctification.
Besides Fruit of the Spirit there are also gifts of the Spirit. The Bible lists a bunch of them in 1 Corinthians 12, but the most important thing to remember about this is that there there are many different gifts given to be used in service to the Lord, and all are indispensable. Also, this list in 1 Corinthians is not all encompassing, for example, we see in the Old Testament that the Spirit was poured out on the artisans who designed the articles to be used for worship in the tabernacle (Exodus 35:30-35). There are even gifts and talents given to us today to be used in the service of the King, that weren’t in existence in biblical times, due to technological advances. But they all have one Source!
So, all that to say, if you’ve accepted Jesus as Lord of your life and are committed to loving and living for Him, the Holy Spirit is at work within you! And that means you have real power within you to say and do some mighty things for the Kingdom! So, why are we so timid? Why do we hold back?
Perhaps, this is a question for myself? I know I hardly ever feel up for the task at hand, just like this post…yet, the Holy Spirit works, even now, though obedience. I was reminded, again, in today’s (Sunday) message that it’s about our obedience to answer the call rather than our skill or abilities. For He equips us with everything we need pertaining to life and godliness, through the Holy Spirit at work within us. And that is a mighty thing indeed!