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Rediscovering The Person Of The Holy Spirit
A Special Gift
Have you ever received a gift but did not open until much later? Perhaps you placed it away intending to open it, only to forget about it. One of my colleagues was excited to recently find some gift cards tucked away in an old forgotten Christmas card. Sometimes those unexpected surprises can be the best!
A recent study in the Huffington Post, asked Moms what gift they would want for Mother’s Day. Surprisingly, only 5% said they would want a physical gift. An overwhelming majority said they would a break from the “momma routine”; or an opportunity for rest. And this is the kind of gift Jesus gave us in the Holy Spirit. An opportunity to rest from human effort of living our lives, to the refreshing and powerful presence of God through the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Before Jesus ascended to Heaven after the resurrection, He promised His disciples that “another Helper” would be coming to replace Him. In fact, He charged them not to leave Jerusalem, where they were, until they had received this gift. These are His words in John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.”
The word “spirit” is found 800 times in scripture in both the Old and New Testaments. But the original languages from which our English Bible was translated from, Hebrew and Greek, do not have the word “spirit”. Instead, you will find the Hebrew word “ruwach” in the Old Testament, and the Greek word “pneuma” in the New Testament, and in both cases, they describe breath and a strong wind. And just like you can feel the wind but not see it, you may not be able to see the Holy Spirit, but you can certainly feel His presence.
The first encounter I can clearly remember with the Person of the Holy Spirit was when I was nine years old. I was sitting in a room surrounded by my siblings and my mother, and she had just delivered the crushing news that my father had been killed. As the reality that I would never again see my father in this world began to settle in, my heart sunk as I gave way to a rush of tears that seemed endless. I felt broken.
But in that very moment, I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me. It was not audible but almost seemed louder, as it came from my heart. It was only six words: “Chris, it’s going to be okay.” Suddenly, tears stopped, and an overwhelming sense of comfort filled my heart. Somehow, I knew that everything was going to be okay, and it was. It is a moment with the Holy Spirit I cherish to this day.
Another characteristic of the wind is that its refreshing. As Spring turns into Summer, there are few things more refreshing than a cool breeze on a warm day. In the same way, the Holy Spirit comes to refresh us.
There is a place called the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a physical location near the equator where the Northeast and Southeast winds converge and cancel each other out, creating this zone with absolutely no wind movements. Sailors have dubbed it the Doldrums. Historically, many ships have wondered there with no wind to get them out, and among the stagnated air, many sailors have died. It’s a death zone, a Bermuda Triangle of sorts.
Perhaps you feel stuck in the doldrums of life. Your marriage, family, and work are suffering stagnation. Maybe you no longer feel confident about what you have been created to do, and you feel trapped in the doldrums of mediocrity and aimlessness. Friend, the Holy Spirit wants to refresh you if you will allow Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 says, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.” I pray that as you breathe in His refreshing presence, the Holy Spirit will begin to fill your sails with wind until His purpose is made clear, and you escape the doldrums of life.
Take a Deep Breath
Ephesians 4:30 in the MESSAGE says, “Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.” As we discuss the Person of the Holy Spirit in the next few weeks, make a decision to abandon any old misconception of who you thought He was, and commit to knowing Him in a fresh new way, according to the Word of God. As you journey with us in this new series, I pray that you know this amazing gift, as the most intimate part of your life.