There is a bit of confusion at times around who the Holy Spirit is, what the Holy Spirit does, and how we relate to the Holy Spirit today. Now this platform is too short to explore all the questions that arise in this space, but here are some thoughts on the Holy Spirit.
Checkout what Jesus said in John 14, ”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 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 you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Jesus is helping his followers understand that when he leaves the Earth that he will not leave us without help and guidance. He will send the Holy Spirit, the same one that allowed him to do all he did (see John 5:19), so that we can be connected to God day by day. Here are three thoughts.
Firstly, I wanted to start with the fact that according to Jesus at least, the Holy Spirit is who we have access to while Jesus is no longer with us on Earth. Jesus is not with us as he was 2,000 years ago. When we pray to Jesus, look for help from Jesus, and tell others about Jesus, we are not pointing to a physical person here and now on Earth. Instead, we are connecting with the Holy Spirit while we wait for Jesus to come back and put things right with humanity. In the meantime, we follow the way of Jesus, pray, tell others, and more because the Holy Spirit guides us to. And as a result, we get to enjoy relationship with God in all the fullness of what we can this side of eternity.
Secondly, it is from the Holy Spirit that we learn to live life in line with who God is and what he has planned for us. When we engage with scripture, expand our minds through learning, experience life in nature, and enjoy community, it is only by the Holy Spirit that all this finds it ultimate home in God. Meaning that you can read scripture, learn, see nature, and hang with people and not find God. But through the Holy Spirit these things will lead you straight to your heavenly father, because he guides us to him.
Thirdly, there is no fear when we live with the Holy Spirit in us. I do not mean we do not fear day to day things, I for one do not like heights and the Holy Spirit has not removed that fear yet, but rather that the ultimate fear of what is next after this life has a resolution. Though we do not know what it looks like, we know that in Jesus’ resurrection there is new life for all who follow him. There is no fear in life’s big questions, or worries of what worries others, or even death. We still get afraid, but true fear has no chance of standing up to the Holy Spirit that lives inside everyone who follows Jesus as their King.
Live well, love God, and be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Josh has been on staff at Lesmurdie Baptist Church since 2018. He is married to Marnel and they have 4 children together - Azaliah, Ezra, Zoelle, and Zion. What drives Josh is seeing people put their faith into action so Jesus can change lives in the here and now.