Ok y’all. I enjoyed social distancing the first month. It gave our family some much needed time to slow down and be together. But now that we are six weeks in (and probably have six weeks to go), I am over it! I sat my kids down in the middle of the week and told them what I was feeling, and then gave them room to express their feelings too. We miss our church and routines and people and Target and FREEDOM!
It felt like I hit a wall this week. My energy was low and feelings were big. I had to engage my will to not get stuck in the mully grubs. I noticed I’ve been praying in the Holy Spirit more than I normally do, desperate to feel God’s presence. I understand that our relationship with God cannot be based on feelings. But there are those times, when you just need to feel your heavenly Father wrap His loving arms around you. The good news is that Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit for times just like this. We are not alone.
In John 16:13, Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit guides us into truth. As we take a look at Scripture today, I believe He is going to help you make up your mind about who He really is. He is right there with you, giving you direct access to God.
1. The Holy Spirit is God.
A. The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.
The Trinity is made up of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three Persons in one. Each role is equal, but they have different functions. Because the Holy Spirit takes center stage in the New Testament, some people aren’t aware that He was a part of the Old Testament as well. The Holy Spirit is seen from the very beginning of the Old Testament, and leads right into the introduction of the New Testament:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters,” (Genesis 1:1-2 ESV).
“So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him,'” (Numbers 27:18 ESV).
“But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him,” (Judges 6:34ESV).
“When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day. When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them,” (1 Samuel 10:9-10ESV).
“The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; his word is on my tongue,” (2 Samuel 23:2 ESV).
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days,” (Joel 2:28-29 NIV).
“When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground,” (Psalm 104:29-30 NIV).
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord,” (Isaiah 11:1-2 ESV).
B. The Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
The Holy Spirit was poured out in the New Testament after Jesus ascended to Heaven. But even in the Gospels, He went to work awakening people. In fact, John the Baptist’s was filled with the Spirit IN HIS MOTHER’S WOMB!
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly,” (Luke 1:41 MSG).
“After all the people were baptized, Jesus was baptized. As he was praying, the sky opened up and the Holy Spirit, like a dove descending, came down on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: ‘You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life,’” (Luke 3:21-22 MSG).
“But when the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, He will testify and bear witness about Me,” (John 15:26 AMP).
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV).
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them,” (Acts 2:1-4 NIV).
“Can’t you see it? God has resurrected Jesus, and we all have seen him! Then God exalted him to his right hand upon the throne of highest honor. And the Father gave him the authority to send the promised Holy Spirit, which is being poured out upon us today. This is what you’re seeing and hearing!” (Acts 2:32-33 TPT).
“No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 2:11 NLT).
2. The Holy Spirit is a gift.
Hopefully through all of those scriptures, you’ve been able to see for yourself that the Holy Spirit is God. He was present at creation. He came upon people in the Old Testament. He filled the apostles and empowered them to preach the gospel with power. The incredible news for you and I is that He is a gift from God for ALL believers. Who doesn’t want a gift from God?!
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13 NKJV).
“Peter replied, ‘Repent and return to God, and each one of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus, the Anointed One, to have your sins removed. Then you may take hold of the gift of the Holy Spirit. For God’s promise of the Holy Spirit is for you and your families, for those yet to be born and for everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.’” (Acts 2:38-39 TPT).
“So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” (Acts 11:17 NIV).
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have,” (1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NLT).
That was a LOT of scripture! You deserve a medal if you made it through all of that! Hopefully, you see a broad picture of who the Holy Spirit is. We will talk about what He does next week. Here are some of the Holy Spirit’s incredible jobs: He guides us, comforts us, speaks to us, makes the Word of God come alive to us, convicts us, gives us that feeling in our gut to pray for people, empowers us, equips us, and more. To me, He is what makes my relationship with God come alive and I am beyond thankful for Him.
Here’s one more important scripture about the Holy Spirit:
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you,” (Romans 8:11 NLT).
Don’t read that too quickly. Read it again slowly. We just celebrated Christ’s resurrection last weekend. The verse we just read tells us that the Holy Spirit is the One who raised Jesus back to life. Jesus didn’t raise Himself, nor did the Father. It was the Holy Spirit. AND HE LIVES IN YOU AND I! That is so exciting!
I gave my heart to the Lord 20 years ago in a charismatic, Spirit-filled church and then went to a Spirit-filled Bible college. The Holy Spirit is not new to me, but I am still discovering things about who He is. With all that’s going on in our world, I think we need to lean on Him now more than ever. He is ready and willing to give us Heaven’s perspective of what we are going though and the empowerment to walk through this in victory.
I don’t know the details of how this virus is affecting you and your family, but I am praying for you. I encourage you to take some time to sit with the Lord this week. The Holy Spirit is a built-in Friend. He is right there with you and He has things He wants to say. He has scripture to lead you to and encouragement to speak over you. He is God and He is a gift.