How big a part does the Holy Spirit play in your life? To what extent do you experience an on-going, deep, vibrant, life-transforming, life-empowering connection with Him?
The mistake we can sometimes fall into is thinking about the Holy Spirit only as the one who sometimes makes us feel all warm and fuzzy when we worship. Or we refer to Him as someone distant, on the fringes of our life - kind of involved in the whole Christianity thing we’re living out, but hardly central - who might just occasionally ‘show up’ at church or homegroup.
But the longing of the Holy Spirit is for a connection with each of us that embraces and enriches every moment of our lives. We’re called to ‘walk by the Spirit’ (Gal 5:16) - every step we take being conscious of Him, listening to Him, being led by Him, being obedient to Him, being helped by Him.
In his book, ‘Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit’, Francis Chan draws together the biblical teaching concerning the role that the Holy Spirit should have in our lives:
’The Spirit helps us speak when we are in precarious situations and need to bear witness (Mark 13:11; Luke 12:12)
The counsellor teaches and reminds us of what we need to know and remember. He is our comforter, our advisor, our encourager, and our strength. He guides us in the way we should go (Ps 143:10; John 14–16; Acts 9:31; 13:2; 15:28; 1 Cor 2:9–10; 1 John 5:6–8)
From the Spirit we receive power to be God’s witnesses to the ends of the earth. It is the Spirit who draws people to the gospel, the Spirit who equips us with the strength we need to accomplish God’s purposes. The Holy Spirit not only initially draws people to God, He also draws believers closer to Jesus (Acts 1:8; Rom 8:26; Eph 3:16–19)
By the power of the Spirit we put to death the misdeeds of the body. The Spirit sets us free from the sins we cannot get rid of on our own. This is a lifelong process we entered into, in partnership with the Spirit, when we first believed (e.g.Rom 8:2)
Through the Spirit we have received a spirit of adoption as children which leads us into intimacy with the Father, instead of a relationship based on fear and slavery. The Spirit bears witness to us that we are his children (Rom 8:15–16)
The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin. He does this bopth before we initially enter into right reltaionship with God and as we journey through this life as believers (John 16:7–11; 1 Thess 1:5)
The Spirit brings us life and freedom. Where the Spirit is, there is freedom, not bondage or slavery. In our world that is plagued with death, this is a profound truth that points to real hope (Rom 8:10–11; 2 Cor 3:17)
By the power of the Holy Spirit we abound with hope because our God is a God of hope, who fills His children with all joy and peace (Rom 15:13)
As members of God’s kingdom community, each of us is given a manifestation of the Spirit in our lives for the purpose of the common good. We all have something to offer because of what the Spirit gives to us (1 Cor 12:7)
The fruit of being led by the Spirit of God includes, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These attitudes and actions will characterise our lives as we allow ourselves to be grown and moulded by the Spirit. The Spirit is our sanctifier (2 Cor 3:18; Gal 5:22–23)’
It’s worth asking, isn’t it, how big a part does the Holy Spirit play in my life? To what extent do I let him in? To what extent do I look to Him and lean on Him? How much time do I spend listening? As I seek to lift Jesus high in my life, to what degree and measure do I allow the Holy Spirit to empower me and transform me for that very purpose?
I Thess 5:19 says, ‘Do not quench the Holy Spirit’. He has a crucial, life-giving, life-enriching role to play in each of our lives. Let’s ask ourselves some honest questions, and make any changes in life that God shows us we need to. It’s all for His glory.