Not long ago, I was having a conversation with a wise woman in our church, and we were talking about how uncomfortable the American church often becomes when it comes to talking about the Holy Spirit.
Our culture is comfortable with a general belief in God the Father. Belief in God feels non-threatening. It feels like something we can sort of wrap our minds and hearts around.
In the church, we are pretty comfortable talking about Jesus too. After all, He is our Redeemer and our Savior, and most of our songs and preaching centers on Him in some way.
Where it gets mysterious, though, is the Holy Spirit. The unknown seems frightening sometimes, doesn’t it? So often, we talk vaguely and fearfully about the Holy Spirit. We relegate Him to third wheel of the Trinity, and in doing so, we miss out on so much of what God intends for us and for those around us.
Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Micah describes being filled with the Spirit of God as being filled with power, justice, and might. Romans calls the mind governed by the Spirit one of “life and peace.” Jesus Himself told the disciples it was to their advantage that He was leaving, because they would receive the gift of the Spirit!
The Greek word for Spirit, pneuma, literally means, “breath.” God breathes life into our dry bones when we come to know Christ. This breath, this life, is His Spirit. The Spirit is the animating force that makes it possible for us to live the lives God intends for us – for our good and for His glory. It is by the Spirit that we are able to see God work miracles in the everyday. It is the Spirit who empowers us to love well, live boldly, put sin to death as we build His kingdom, and be His witnesses in this world. It is the Spirit who fills us with power, justice, might, and peace. And it is the Spirit who makes us more and more like Jesus.
John Piper describes being filled with the Spirit as being, "caught into the joy that flows among the Holy Trinity.” Sounds pretty incredible, doesn't it?
Father, we don’t want to be those who grieve Your Spirit. Rather, may we be people who embrace the beautiful gift of Your Spirit. May we embrace the powerful mystery of how He breathes new life into our dry bones. May we walk in and by the Spirit as we live, pray, and worship, knowing that we desperately need the power, peace, and joy You offer through the Holy Spirit. May we drop our self-sufficiency, stubbornness, and fear and allow Him to guide our steps. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
See you tomorrow!