I couldn’t remember the last time I’d listened to a sermon about the person of the Holy Spirit. Because He is often unexplainable, we have a tendency to shy away from Him. I’d heard about His gifts. I’d heard about Pentecost. But while I felt like I knew a bit of Jesus’ personality, the Holy Spirit remained a mystery to me.
Until I started digging into Acts. Then I finally met Him- and fell in love with Him.
For most of my Christian life, the Holy Spirit was sort of like the third wheel of the Trinity. You know, three’s a crowd. Somebody is bound to get left out of a threesome, and for me it was the Holy Spirit. I knew He lived inside of me because the Bible said so, but I never spoke to Him. Most of the time, I forgot He was even there.
I realized in Acts the Holy Spirit had a personality. He was not some robotic, cosmic force, but intimately knew each person. He created ideal scenarios to allow them to respond to His beckoning. He personalized the means and the message in order to help people believe in Jesus.
He is also patient. While it took years for the disciples in Acts to fully understand the grandness of their mission to share faith in Jesus with the entire world, the Holy Spirit continued to open their eyes day after day, year after year. Time and again He demonstrated God’s plan to reconcile the entire world to Himself through salvation by His Son.
So how can we “keep in step with the Spirit” like Paul tells us to do in Galatians 5:25? The first way is to listen. The Holy Spirit speaks the Word (Bible) and words of God. Sometimes He speaks them directly; other times, He alludes to them by creating circumstances that spark a person’s memory of a particular biblical passage or principle. Look at what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit before His crucifixion:
“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. However, when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own initiative but will say only what he hears. He will announce to you the events of the future. He will glorify me, because he will receive from what is mine and announce it to you. Everything the Father has is mine; this is why I said that he receives from what is mine and will announce it to you.” (John 16:12-15).
The Holy Spirit speaks the words of the Father and of Jesus. If you want the Holy Spirit to do something unexplainable in your life, then you need to give Him a voice by opening up the Word of God!
Next, we need to allow the Spirit to show us how to magnify Jesus. Every time the Holy Spirit gave people power, gifts, or abilities in Scripture, it was for the purpose of magnifying Christ. I think we often have our own ideas of how we want to magnify Jesus. I love to do it by being friendly and kind, but I don’t really like direct evangelism and I hate confrontation. But when I only want to magnify Jesus in my preferred, comfortable ways, I have no need of His power. I more or less tell Him I’d prefer not to participate in the work He wants to do through me unless I can dictate the methods.
Because the Holy Spirit is patient, He will not force us to engage with Him. He will step back and allow us to go our own way. It took years before Peter followed Him into the home of a Gentile to preach the gospel. Years. The good news is the Holy Spirit didn’t give up on Peter, so He won’t give up on us!
Let’s dig into our Bibles and get to know the Holy Spirit. Let’s be brave enough to admit we may not have all of the answers. Let’s ask Him to come and do the unexplainable as we follow Him to new places- and here’s the cool part. When we follow His guidance, we get to know the Spirit and more fully understand Jesus and the Father!
So what are you waiting for? An amazing adventure awaits!
How would you describe the Holy Spirit?
What has He done in your life?
Please share and encourage others who are just beginning their journey with Him!
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