June 24, 2016 | By Brent Hall
Seriously, when was the last time you thanked God for the Holy Spirit? The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit is a gift. Apostle Peter calls the Holy Spirit a gift: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Apostle Paul also refers to the Holy Spirt as a gift: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:6-7).
Who is the Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity, fully God. Whereas God the Father and God the Son reside in heaven (Jesus bodily), the Holy Spirit indwells believers in the here and now. In other words, it is the Holy Spirit, also known as the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9; 1 Peter 1:11), that is directly in our presence. Have you ever considered worshiping and praying to the Holy Spirit? I know for some of us this would seem odd because it is so uncommon today, but the Holy Spirit is God, a personal presence with us on earth. The King James Bible translation called the Spirit the “Holy Ghost.” Just as a ghost is a paranormal, supernatural, felt presence, so God is present with us in the Holy Ghost. But the Holy Ghost doesn’t haunt us; the Holy Spirit loves us and empowers us, communicating ineffable joy and peace to the inmost depths of our soul.
Why do we want the Holy Spirit?
It’s no wonder that so many of us feel disconnected with God; we haven’t even considered that God is with us, right now, through the Holy Spirit. Amazingly, Jesus said, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate (i.e. Holy Spirit) will not come to you; bit if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). Jesus is saying that it is better that we have the Holy Spirit in our presence than Jesus Christ Himself! One reason for this is because Jesus was with us, but the Holy Spirit is in us.
The early church clearly grasped the importance of the Holy Spirit; they desired the Spirit’s presence in their lives and church. God’s power was on display in those who possessed the Spirit. The church, our country, and the world desperately need the Holy Spirit. Christians have a lot of knowledge about God. The problem is we’re not experiencing God.
Experience the Holy Spirit
So, if you are a believer, I challenge you to simply recognize the Spirit’s presence in your life. Call on the Spirit and pray to the Spirit. Ask Jesus to fill you with more of His Spirit. And if you’re still struggling to experience the Holy Spirit, then come find me on a Sunday morning after I’m done preaching. Just as in the early church people prayed and laid hands on others to receive and be filled with the Holy Spirit, I will personally do the same for you. It’s not about my power or anything in me. It’s about the power of God in me and I believe God wants you to experience this power, too. If you don’t know where to start, come find me. Not email, not over the phone, but in person. Let’s experience this gift together.