Why didn't they tell me?
I grew up in the Church - which church is not really material, but the fact is, I was robbed. I was robbed of the teaching of who. God. really. is. Sure, I practically cut my reading teeth on the King James Bible, and I have loved Jesus since I was knee high... but here's the thing: from what I learned at church, God the Father kind of scared me because he seemed far off, austere and oft-punishing . . . and the Holy Spirit? Well, my Bible called him the Holy Ghost and of course, a ghost is somewhat spooky. So, clearly something was lacking. Truly, what I was taught left out a whole body of Scriptural teaching that sheds so much light on the fullness of God, like how it is possible that he is always with me, for instance, and how his presence and work empowers me to live this life well!
I am not alone. Perhaps you can relate to this woman who said to me at Bible study, “So I understand quite a bit about Jesus, Son of God, Messiah, Lord, Savior, you know; honestly, I have learned more about God the Father in learning about Jesus--but the Holy Spirit? Huh, I’m not too sure about that whole thing. I will listen, however, if you tell me more.” I did. I have. I will.
The Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood Person of the Trinity and certainly the most under-represented. Yet he is the key to spiritual growth, life change, true freedom and having the works of God made real in our lives. That is because
the Holy Spirit takes up residence within us when we place our faith in Jesus and begins to change us from the inside out.1
The Holy Spirit is a person, he is God and he is all about relationship with us.
->‘The Spirit is not just a flighty, whimsical spirit who comes and goes like the wind. He is an eternal being.’2
->‘He dwells with us and will be in us.’3
->While he is one third of the Trinity, he has his own mind and distinct personality. ->The Holy Spirit similarly interprets God to us,4 which means that as we seek God’s guidance, for instance, it is the Holy Spirit’s function to impress on us the path to take. He leads, guides, convicts, comforts and draws us to the heart of God. Oh, how I love the Holy Spirit.
"His works are ineffable in majesty, and innumerable in quantity.
How can we even ponder what extends beyond the ages?
What did he do before creation began?
How great are the graces he showered on creation!
What power will he wield in the age to come?
He existed; He pre-existed; He co-existed with the Father and the Son before the ages.
Even if you can imagine anything beyond the ages, you will discover that the Spirit is even further beyond.” St. Basil the Great, circa 355 A.D.
The Holy Spirit is vast and limitless. He sees all things, knows all things and is all-powerful. In fact, he empowers us to do the things God calls us to do as well.
This afternoon I had the privilege of speaking to a young man on the phone I have yet to meet. He is in a Christian rehab center after being released from jail, (I do not know why he was in jail or for how long), but since he has been in the rehab center, "D" accepted Christ, or as he told me on the phone two weeks ago 'got saved'! But today, he asked questions about things he was thinking and worrying about regarding his newfound faith and how he ought pray and change and well, be faithful. In simple terms, I was able to tell him that
the Holy Spirit of God lives in him and will change him from the inside out--he just had to stay the course each day, trusting God and looking to Him.
Do you want to see the power of the Holy Spirit come alive in your life? Be courageous, my friend. Ask God to come and work in your life, then give him time and space to speak to you; look around for the unique ways he wants to lead and guide you. Oh man, He will enable you to know and see the ways of an all-powerful God personally. Go ahead, invite him to take you deeper. There has never been a richer life than this.
Maybe 'they' didn't tell you, but now you know. The Holy Spirit of God will change your life in ways you never thought possible!
1 – Titus 3.4-6
2 – Francis Chan, Forgotten God, Cook Publishing, 2009.
3 - John 14.17
4 – 1 Corinthians 2.13