In recent months, I have been exposed to conversations about the Holy Spirit, or actually the lack of emphasis on Him. I grew up in a church that stressed each of the Godhead equally- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As a youth I sang “We are one in the Spirit we are one in the Lord…” A youth pastor once described the Trinity like the attributes of the sun– it is bright, it is warm, it is power, all three things in one.
But while manning the phones for a Christian radio’s Shareathon, one of the pastors who volunteered with me told me how often people come to him after he has preached on the Holy Spirit and ask if He is still around today or was He just given to the first disciples to help spread Christianity. That same sentiment was discussed at my monthly church women’s prayer meeting. Today, a writer friend of mine blogged about this topic –http://powertochange.com/blogposts/2012/11/19/would-fail-breathalyzer-test/. She referred to Paul describing being in the Spirit as being drunk. In Acts 2:13, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the first disciples and they began to speak in other languages people asked if they were intoxicated.
I admit it. Once in college I got drunk. I hated it because I felt out of control and uninhibited. It scared me. But I have been “high on the Spirit” on retreats and occasionally in worship. That spiritual out of control feeling is cleansing and freeing because God is in control. It is as if all my cares dissipate and I am floating on grace. There have been times when I lectured that I could hear myself speaking but knew the words were not my own. In fact, each time before I speak, I pray for Him to fill the room and my thoughts. Often, when reading the lessons to the congregation in church, I have felt Him speak the words for me – it is usually when I care less about how I sound and more about how the message sounds.
But mostly, I just feel His presence in my life like a shadow – but from the inside out. He is my closest companion. I hear His whisper when a danger approaches, or sense His inspiration when I write. I have learned more and more to obey the direction He gives:
“Talk to that person, pray for so-and-so right now–she needs it.”
“Give that man a dollar or a bottle of water.”
“Smile at that person behind the counter, call him by name and tell him you appreciate his service because he’s had a bad day filled with grouchy customers.”
“That woman needs a compliment- she has only been told negative things recently.”
God is my Father who loves me unconditionally in the way no earthly father could, but He is also my disciplinarian and creator for whom I must have holy fear and respect. Jesus is my Lord and Savior who died on the cross for my sins. He is my teacher, my master and my example. But the Holy Spirit is my constant companion, my guide and my comforter. I never want to be without Him in my life.
Psalm 51:11-13 speaks the desires of my heart –
Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Give me the joy of your saving help again and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
How does the Holy Spirit influence your life?