Getting to Know the Holy Spirit

Anne Rulo Getting to Know the Holy Spirit

Oh, help folks! She’s talking about the Holy Spirit today. Or, in the tradition of my home church, The Holy Ghost. This oft-neglected member of the Trinity is going to take center stage today as we examine just one of the many roles He plays in our faith walk.

Despite the unification of the Trinity, many of us tend to have nuanced relationships with each part. The relationship with God tends to be one of reverence. He is the I AM, holiness, a big-ness that we almost cannot comprehend. Jesus is the relatable Savior, God made flesh and come to earth. He is the high priest who is able to empathize with our weaknesses, encountered temptation, yet He did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15 NIV, excerpts). But then there’s the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God. Just who is He?

As a young believer, I knew the Holy Spirit as a giver of emotion. He was the one who made well-dressed behatted women in my church “fall out” in the aisles. As I got older, I began to learn the Biblical stories of His Old Testament works on the saints. And in the New Testament, incredibly, the Holy Spirit becomes Jesus’ gift to us as He departed this world (John 14:15-31 NIV). These days He has become a confidant, the mysterious translator, and as always, the guarantee of our inheritance of what is to come (2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:14 NIV).

The reason I am offering this is that I suspect many of us are doing ourselves a disservice. The somewhat mysterious quality of the Holy Spirit can keep us from calling on Him, asking for His help or utilizing His power. He is, quite literally, the presence of God within us. Thus, it makes sense that we should develop a knowledgable and close relationship with this indwelling neighbor. Here’s just a few references to Him from the Bible:

“The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.” (John 14:26 NASB)

“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:6-7 NASB)

While the Holy Spirit occupies a lot of roles, the one we are focusing on is His filtering and teaching. Consider this to be like a prism. Prisms act as filters, bending light in such a way that it separates the colors and displays the fullness of what was only a single beam on the other side. The Holy Spirit works in much the same way.

As information comes into our lives, we process it through something. If we do this through our “flesh” Scripture tells us we are literally unable to understand or respond in a way that honors God. But, if we filter the world and its messages through the Spirit we can see that information in a completely different way. Scripture says He makes us “remember” what God has taught us. He is the one who lets us see life and peace. He is the one who enables us to respond in ways that honor God. In short, He filters us out so He shines through.

A deep relationship with the Holy Spirit is key to seeing God in things. It is also the key to responding to life with God in you. Make sure to include Him in your prayers this week and look Him up in the Word. Who knows? You just might knock the dust off a treasure that’s already in your possession.

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