I confess that recently I have changed a lot in my attitude towards the Holy Spirit. I have invited Him to participate in all areas of my life, not just some. I have also come to understand that He is someone who can be my friend. And I recently regretted ignoring Him for so long. Even though I was born in the church, and sometimes I failed the Holy Spirit. I often forgot to have a relationship with Him, to honor Him. I ended up creating barriers with the manifest presence of the Spirit out of fear of a “misuse” of His presence or fear of exposing myself in some way by letting myself be guided by His action.
But the truth is that everything changes when we know and understand the Holy Spirit and give Him way in our lives. I still have a lot to learn about Him, as this experience is quite recent, but here I will share some of what I have lived and learned.
We depend on Him
First I would like to talk about how much we need the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our churches. Recently I have been very challenged in my personal life and in my local church to make important decisions, disciple, deal with relational issues, deal with people and even discern the spiritual environment.
The truth is that I realized that if we stay in the shallows, it is even possible to take things in a human way, pray with the soul, advise according to our own perception and go using our mental faculties, even because God really gave us intelligence. But if we want to go deeper and actually fulfill the Father’s call, there’s no way we can go on without the living presence of the Holy Spirit in us. How to pray what God wants us to pray? How do you discern if someone has an evil spirit that needs more intentional prayer? How to have wisdom when someone comes to us sharing something that is totally new to us? Only by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Jesus knew the importance of the Spirit in our lives and, therefore, had already announced that He would come to be with us. He promised that He Himself would ask the Father to send the Spirit on our behalf.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” – John 14:16-17
Christ needed to ascend to heaven and claim the gift of the Spirit on behalf of men. If Jesus had not “gone up,” and the Holy Spirit “descended,” we would have limited communication with God’s presence.
We are privileged
With the grace and gift of God we have access to a permanent presence of the Holy Spirit in us, something that in the Old Testament was the privilege of specific people. Kings or prophets received a special anointing from the Spirit to fulfill a particular purpose, office, or occasion.
Today any of us who receive Christ have the privilege of experiencing intense communication with God’s power and spiritual reality through the Holy Spirit. A very good example I read in a book recently of a father who needs to leave the house to claim an inheritance that would lift his family out of poverty. Jesus likewise needed to be absent from the earthly plane so that we could move from our poor and limited spirituality to a general outpouring and constant presence of the Holy Spirit.
Never feel unworthy of accessing the presence of God and having an intimate and intense relationship with the Holy Spirit. None of us would be worthy! But this has nothing to do with being too good or too anointed. It has to do with being children of God, with the blood of Christ being upon us. It is by sheer grace that Jesus has enabled us to partake of his inheritance. We need to believe the promises of God’s Word to us.
“…who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” – Colossians 1:12
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,” – Hebrews 10:19-20
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,” – Ephesians 1:13
About who He is
A dear friend was used by God to give me a book called “Forgotten God”, which talks about the Holy Spirit. And this book points out several attributes of the Spirit, but I’m going to list only a few here.
First, the Holy Spirit is a DIVINE PERSON. Often we can only see the Spirit impersonally. It is compared with water, fire, wind, among other adjectives. Mistakenly we can see people treating Him as a “force”, “energy” or “power”, which can be used or controlled. But when we understand that He is a person, we change the way we relate to Him. We begin to have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. And we are called to relate to Him in this way. He even relates to the Father and the Son throughout the Bible.
In the Scriptures we can see that He acts like a person. He is able to feel our pain with us and comfort/encourage us (Jn. 16:7), He has emotions (Eph. 4:20), He thinks and intercedes for us (Rom. 8:27).
By the way, about the attribute of being our INTERCESSOR, the Holy Spirit is the One who intercedes for our lives according to the will of God, as it is also written in Romans 8:27. As I said at the beginning, we have intelligence, but our intelligence is limited. So many times with our own soul we can pray wrongly or ask for the wrong things. However, the Holy Spirit knows what we really need. He knows both our hearts and the Father’s will to intercede in the right way on our behalf.
Finally, it is worth noting that HE IS GOD. Several passages refer to the Holy Spirit as God (Acts 5:3-4). The attributes described about Him are divine attributes. He is Holy and Eternal. As we read, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be with us “forever.” He was present in various situations since the Creation in Genesis. He is also omniscient, for as it is written, “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Cor.2:10).
There are many attributes of the Holy Spirit that we can explore in other texts.
The purpose of this text is to encourage you to invite the Holy Spirit to be present in all areas of your life and in everything you do. If possible, say a prayer like I did, asking the Holy Spirit for forgiveness for perhaps ignoring Him or not relating to Him in a personal way. If you are someone who already seeks His presence, may you go even deeper into the knowledge of Him.
Grace and peace!