The Holy Spirit has been a source of confusion and mystery for a lot of my life. I grew up in a denomination that talked some about Holy Spirit, but not a lot.
Holy Spirit was there to convict us of our sin and to intercede on our behalf when we pray. If there was any discussion about the gifts of the Spirit, it was a rather short list of “acceptable” gifts.
In the house that I grew up in, there was not a lot of discussion about Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit was something to be skeptical about and was untrustworthy. We visited churches and if there was much discussion about Holy Spirit, we usually left.
Discussion around the more miraculous gifts was not tolerated.
It is so sad to look back and think that this is what I was taught about Holy Spirit. It has been a journey to come to a place where I feel like I can understand Him better.
He is not something to fear or mistrust, but a person whom I can put my full trust in. I can walk with confidence and power because of Holy Spirit’s work in my life.
One of the first things I learned about Holy Spirit, is that once I am in Christ, He is always with me.
Here are a few verses that have helped me understand this fact.
· “In Him, you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1:13)
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
In these verses, we see that we have been sealed with Holy Spirit and He lives inside us. This has been so very helpful for me as I seek to walk out my salvation.
Having learned all my life that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, I was surprised to learn that He reminds us of the righteousness we have through Jesus!
John 16:8-10 says, “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and righteousness, and of judgment: of sin because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
Jesus was returning to the Father and we need someone to remind us of the righteousness that is ours. We need someone to remind us of who we are because of the blood of Jesus! The Lord knows just how forgetful we can be and Holy Spirit is there to remind us.
This has been such a wonderful journey for me. There have been so many different times in my life where I have doubted myself. I have struggled with thinking that the Lord is disappointed in me and that I have failed Him. There was a time when I struggled with the thought that maybe He has even turned His back on me.
This journey to understanding and experiencing Holy Spirit began when I started meditating on Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” I always felt condemnation!
Through praying and journaling and studying the Word, Holy Spirit showed me the difference between walking in the flesh and having times when I sin.
Walking in the flesh is a deliberate act where we chose to rely on ourselves to be holy.
There are times when I still fall short, but I am not making a habit of seeking to live life in my strength. In Christ, Holy Spirit works to change my thoughts and emotions to want the things of the Spirit. Even though I may still struggle, there is no condemnation for me in Christ Jesus.
This time of mind renewal did have a transformation effect on my life. I fell a lot, landing on my right side. I backed into a pole and dented my car on the right side. It was a paradigm shift so significant for me that it threw off my center of gravity! The things that I have learned has so transformed me that I have to look at that time and smile!
Did you know that you have all of the fruit through the Spirit living inside you? It is true! We are not lacking in any part of the Spirit.
His fullness dwells in us and we lack nothing!
Fullness comes through walking with the Spirit. It is me daily deciding to go to the Spirit. To talk to the Spirit about what is going on in my life. To read the Word to learn and be transformed into the image of Christ!
Guess what else I have learned?
The Spirit wants to just flood my life with His fruit. He wants to know and experience His love. His peace is there to guard me and give me rest. He is active and living!
The Holy Spirit, with all His fruit, knowledge, and power is there at my disposal. He does this out of His great love for me! He does it so that the Father in Heaven receives the glory! His power is at work in my life so that I am conformed more and more into the image of Jesus.
A friend of mine will ask me, “What is hard in your life right now?” Sometimes my answers are superficial, saying it is hard right now to keep my house clean. Other times, it is deeper and more emotional, sharing how hard it is to care for my mom with dementia.
At times this question has frustrated me. Shouldn’t I be thinking about the good things and not focusing on the hard? No! The Spirit wants me to see how He will work this out for my good. He wants me to experience becoming more like Christ!
Our lives are about walking with the Spirit in all things. Looking at the hard, not running from it, and trying to avoid it, brings so many blessings! In the hard things in life, we get to experience more of Holy Spirit!
These are things that we do not want to miss. In the hard things, we learn endurance and develop His character. We learn of the hope that does not disappoint us because of the love God has poured out in us through Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:3-5)
I am so thankful that my knowledge of Holy Spirit has grown and expanded over the years. There are things that I struggled with, not knowing if I would ever see His victory. I would have missed out on His fruit in my life. Holy Spirit is truly a gift to be treasured!
What about you? What is your experience with Holy Spirit? Have you ever thought about all that Holy Spirit brings to your life? Take time to pray and spend time in the Word learning about Holy Spirit.