The Holy Who? … Hello weekend readers. I can already imagine what you may be thinking in regards to this title, but hear me out. I was on a podcast the other day with several pastors/priests, authors, and theologians. This was a gathering solely about the Holy Spirit and I wasn’t about to miss it despite the storm and sketchy WiFi up here in northern New Mexico. It was worth it!
Max Lucado and Tim Keller headed up this time with the question, “how do you explain ‘The Holy Who?’” I had to laugh when they said this as truly it reminded me of a Dr. Suess book, and I was waiting for the “green eggs and ham” next!! All laughing aside this was one of the most powerful presentations I have ever listened to in regards to the Holy Spirit. I got more out of this than seminary. Each presenter—pastor/author/theologian—was from a different Christian denomination and I find that amazing. (I detest “denomination-bashing.”) Here is the summation for you (by permission from Max Lucado).
Jesus doesn’t want us to think of the Holy Spirit as an it or a thing. The Spirit IS a person. And, like a person, the Spirit has intellect, emotions, and will. Here’s some reminders:
- Speaks to the churches (Rev. 2:7)
- Intercedes for the believer (Rom. 8:26)
- Leads and commands the disciples (Acts 8:29; 16:6–7)
- Appoints elders (Acts 20:28)
- Searches all things (1 Cor. 2:10)
- Knows the mind of God (1 Cor. 2:11)
- Teaches the content of the Gospel to us (1 Cor. 2:13)
- Dwells among and within believers (1 Cor. 3:16; Rom. 8:11; 2 Tim. 1:14)
- Distributes spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:11)
- Gives life to those who believe (2 Cor. 3:6)
- Cries out from within our hearts (Gal. 4:6)
- Leads us in the ways of God (Gal. 5:18)
- Helps us in our weaknesses (Rom. 8:26)
- Works all things together for our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28)
- Strengthens believers (Eph. 3:16)
- Can be lied to (Acts 5:3–4), grieved (Eph 4:30), insulted (Heb 10:29), blasphemed (Matt 12:31–32)
Does this list surprise you? A Pew Study shows that only 4 in 10 people believe that the Spirit is a divine person. The rest either don’t have an opinion or choose to believe the Spirit is more like a power surge than a divine being. A surge? How does one have a friendship with electricity? These are sad statistics for sure.
In the podcast, Andy Stanley referred to Pope Francis’ words in his series on the Acts of the Apostles: “The apostles do not allow anyone to intimidate them. They have tremendous courage! Let us remember that these men were cowards: everyone ran away; they fled when Jesus was arrested. But, from cowards they became so courageous. Why? Because the Holy Spirit was with them. The same thing happens to us: if we have the Holy Spirit within, we have the courage to go forth, the courage to win many battles, not by ourselves but by the Spirit who is with us.”
Wise words. In the podcast many more were shared from Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Pentecostals, etc. How refreshing! And that is exactly the power of the Holy Spirit! The ‘3rd Person of the Trinity’ that never leaves our side. Friends, we don’t need to wait for a power surge—the power of the Holy Spirit is IN us always. However, like anything else, if we don’t use it we “lose it.” No, the Spirit doesn’t leave us, but we leave the Spirit as we look for answers anywhere else but in the power God has given us through Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yikes, we’re plugging into the wrong socket!
Let’s take a moment this weekend and put our thoughts forefront about ‘The Holy Who’s’ impact on our lives. Are we using Holy Spirit power or depending on our own strength? The Apostle Paul spoke to the experience of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer as proof of the reality of his Gospel message. For Paul, the guidance, wisdom, indwelling and gifts of the Spirit were paramount to his life and ministry. They should be the same for you and me as well. Let’s close with Paul’s “gifts of the Spirit” that can lead us every day in our walk of faith in this way-too-faithless world. It defines ‘the Holy Who’—not an ‘it’ but a person, who wants to change our lives for the better—every single day, AMEN!
“The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit:
unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
You won’t find any law opposed to fruit like this.”
Galatians 5: 22-23 [The Voice]