“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”John 16:7
We don’t say: Father, Son and Holy Bible.
We say: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In a lot of settings, He’s almost forgotten, or treated as an “IF”. He is the Lord. He is called “the Spirit of God“, “the Spirit of the Lord” and “the Spirit of Christ“. He is God. Jesus understood that the Holy Spirit was God, and placed high value on him. The Father waited for Holy Spirit to descend upon Jesus before He announced “this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” It was the Father who placed the Holy Spirit upon Jesus.
“how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Acts 10:38
Your best friend
The Holy Spirit said to me one time, “Lee, I want to be your best friend.” And I said “Yes Lord, I want you to be my best friend too.” Then he explained, “Your best friend is the person you talk to before you consult anyone else. They are the one whose opinion matters most. The one you want to spend the most time with.” (The conversation with him may have been slightly different, but it was essentially like that.)
One thing I never want to do is treat Holy Spirit as a ministry tool. Obviously I can’t do anything of real value without him. The best preaching, hearing about people from the Spirit, walking in power, it’s all from Him. God desires relationship. He wants to know us intimately. God knows everything about us, but knowing everything about someone and knowing them closely as a friend are two totally different things.
Have you ever noticed that in Matthew 7, Jesus’s issue with the people who didn’t make it into his kingdom was not that they couldn’t do miracles? It was that they never got to know him. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:22-23
The Father found me, and he gave me His treasure. The Holy Spirit. He introduced himself to me. To this day, I am still amazed that God wants to talk to me. It’s a learning process, but I want to constantly hear from God and respond to His call. Not as duty, but as a joy. He loves me so much, the only thing I want to do is what pleases Him.
Inversely, I do not want to do what displeases him.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
I hope we realize that God is the most emotional being in the Bible. I don’t mean that in a negative way. He cries, He laughs, He sings, He rejoices, He gets angry, He loves, and He can be grieved. God doesn’t hate sin because He doesn’t want us to have fun. God hates sin because it destroys us. We weren’t made in the image of sin, we were made in the image of God. We inherited sin through Adam, and we inherit life through Jesus. Although we have life, and a new nature, we can still choose death. This grieves the Holy Spirit. One sure way to remove the presence of God from your life is to live a lifestyle of sin.
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:” Hebrews 12:14
Holiness is not how you dress, act, or speak. Holiness will effect how you dress, act, and speak. We should not be afraid of this word. Holy Spirit lives in us and he wants his temple to be holy. “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”” 1 Peter 1:15-16
Ask God for grace to transform you if you are struggling, and stay in the presence of God.
Connected to the source
“If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.” -A.W. Tozer
I desire so much to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and motivated by Him to such a degree, that if He were gone, my whole Christian life would stop. We simply can not be satisfied with programs, Christian discipline, and scripture memorization. (Although those things are good.)
Honestly, we can’t even read the Bible effectively without Him. “who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
2 Corinthians 3:6
You can seriously cut someone up with scripture. I’ve met people who knew what the Bible said so well, and they were some of the meanest people. I used to be pretty good at cutting people up with the word. The problem was, I didn’t know it! Knowing what the Bible says does not mean you know it. As Todd White says:
“The only word you really know is the one you’re able to walk out.”
Holy Spirit is a way better Evangelist than we are. He desires to partner with us to see His will done on earth as it is in heaven.
Check out this amazing section of scripture:
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
I used to be fairly good at arguing my point. I could debate with scripture, I could prove that I was right. I could show how evolution was false and creation is a real fact. Even though I won all of those debates, no one (and I mean no one) ever got saved.
I meet people a lot who tell me that it’s not about healing, it’s about getting people saved. I understand what they’re trying to say, but I never saw anyone saved before I knew about healing. Then they argue that healing was only to validate the apostle’s message. Hang on, what’s going to validate our message? Good arguments? Fancy speech? “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20
The gospel preaching is not complete without demonstrations of power, but that’s not the only reason. God wants people to be healed! It’s in His full desire! “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
We simply can not do anything effective without interaction with Holy Spirit.
““I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
I will take this statement even further. Jesus couldn’t do anything without the Holy Spirit. Although He is fully God, He emptied himself so much and lived as a man in need of God.
“Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19
How should I respond?
If you have been living life without a true relationship with God through interaction with the Holy Spirit, you can start at any time. Repent if you have to (change the way you think) and ask God to give you His Holy Spirit. If you’ve already met Him and He lives in you, ask Him for more. Talk about what He likes to talk about. Surrender to Him. Ask for His presence, and you will do what He loves. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” James 4:8
To be continued…