Welcome to the first post in the Empowered blog series.
Are you a Christian but wonder why your life feels out of control? Do you long for peace? Is your mind troubled with many worries? Does fear have a hold on you? Do you feel like it’s impossible to change?
I’ve walked with the Lord and loved him since I was seven-years-old. But five years ago I realized I lived in fear. I made a decision to do everything I could to be the person God created me to be. I knew God wanted me to live with confidence in him.
One of my favorite verses is 2 Timothy: 1:7, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
That spirit of power, love, and self-control is the Holy Spirit! And God gave him to us. What an amazing gift!
But do we really understand how the Holy Spirit helps us?
When Paul was in prison he wrote a letter to his dear friend Timothy whom he considered a great man of faith. Paul knew how the spirit of fear can hinder our service for the Lord. So, he warned Timothy and encouraged him to fan the flame of the Holy Spirit in his life. The more you fan a flame, the bigger it gets.
And so it is with the Holy Spirit.
As Christians, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us change. I found the more I obeyed the Lord, or fanned the flame so to speak, the more I became aware of the active work of the Holy Spirit in my life helping, strengthening, and ministering to me.
I’ve lived far too many days without a sense of wonder and appreciation for the precious gift of the Holy Spirit.
I hope you’ll stay tuned for future posts in this series.
During this series we’ll answer questions like: Why does God give Christians the gift of the Holy Spirit? What’s the purpose of the Holy Spirit? How does the Holy Spirit Empower us to serve Him? How does the Holy Spirit Purify Us? How does the Holy Spirit reveal himself to us? How does the Holy Spirit Guide and Direct Us? How does the Holy Spirit Unify Us?
Just a note: This series will not dive into denominational differences that cause controversy among believers, but will talk about our common pursuit of the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)
First, let’s start with the main truths about the Holy Spirit we need to know.
The Holy Spirit is God—the third person of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Scripture says that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all distinct persons. They are all addressed in the Bible as God.
It’s often hard to wrap our minds around the concept of the trinity—the Godhead, three persons in one.
The Holy Spirit is fully God. Holy means perfect and without sin.
The first mention of the Holy Spirit is in Genesis 1:2 where it says “darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
If you struggle with your inability to fully comprehend God, then you’re not alone. This verse may help.
Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of the law.”
There are many things revealed to us about God in the Bible. The Holy Spirit helps us understand those revealed things and empowers us to live in a manner that brings glory to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is a person.
Notice the pronouns in the verse below.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him., for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” John 14: 16-20
The Holy Spirit lives inside every believer.
The Bible says the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside every believer!
“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
The moment you confess your belief in Jesus Christ and choose to live for him, the Holy Spirit indwells you. What a gift this is!
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 1:13 NIV
You can’t be a Christian without having the Holy Spirit.
“Therefore I want you to know that no-one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed, and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3
The Holy Spirit is our Helper/Advocate in this troubled world.
Before Jesus’s death, he told his disciples that it was better for him to go so he could send a helper for us. Jesus knew we needed help! He sees us when we’re struggling to have peace. And because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have that very peace living inside of us!
“All this I have spoken while I was still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you. My peace, I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14: 25-27
The Holy Spirit has a mind.
And he who searches the hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:27
The Holy Spirit has emotion.
We can make the Holy Spirit sad. We grieve his spirit when we harbor bitterness, hatred, and spite towards others.
We have to choose to let the Holy Spirit work in our lives. We can quench the Holy Spirit and grieve the Holy Spirit when we deliberately choose to sin.
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:30-31
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
The Holy Spirit has a will.
The Holy Spirit determines what spiritual gifts to give each believer.
Notice how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all mentioned as the same God at work.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone is the same God at work.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-5
“All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. “
1 Corinthians 12:11
Did anything surprise you about the Holy Spirit? How does knowing that the Spirit of God lives in you give you hope and change your perspective on life? I’d love for you to share in the comments. Do you have any questions about the Holy Spirit?
Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Forgive me for taking such a precious gift for granted. Forgive me for the times I have prevented your Holy Spirit from moving in my life. Lord change me by the power of your Holy Spirit. Empower me to serve you. Equip me in my weakness. Your Holy Spirit brings me peace when my circumstances are not peaceful. Your Holy Spirit calms my restless mind when I turn my eyes upon you. Your Holy Spirit helps me understand the Word of God. Your Holy Spirit intercedes for me. Thank you for your strength, God. Knowing you live inside of me gives me great hope and courage.
Here is the second post in the Empowered Series: Why Does God Give Christians the Gift of the Holy Spirit?