The Holy Spirit gets far too little attention in the modern church. Christians talk about being filled with the Holy Spirit or hearing His voice, but it’s not often that we hear teaching on what either of those terms truly means. Exactly who, or what, is the Holy Spirit?
It’s difficult to have a complete understanding of the Holy Spirit, just as no one can truly understand God. But the Bible does tell us what we need to know about His nature and work in our lives. Let’s take a closer look at the often-misunderstood Holy Spirit.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
Simply put, the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. He is regarded as equal with God the Father and Jesus, and is referred to as the Helper that Jesus sent after His return to Heaven. The Spirit is also said to “abide in” believers to teach us and help us. To summarize these verses and many more, the Holy Spirit is the Creator of the universe coming alongside us to help us and draw us closer to God. That’s an incredible thought!
Because of the less familiar terminology used about the Holy Spirit, as well as our culture’s tendency to associate the term “spirit” with ghosts or simply feelings, it can be easy to accidentally characterize the Spirit as more of an impersonal force. As Billy Graham points out, this is an inherently flawed view and one that doesn’t stand up to biblical scrutiny. The Holy Spirit is consistently described as a Person, not simply a cosmic entity or force comparable to Star Wars-level theology. Keeping this fact in perspective will help you truly seek the Holy Spirit.
Pro Tip: Don’t let your view of the Holy Spirit be influenced by our culture’s misunderstanding of what “spirit” means. The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is a Person, not an unknowable force or impersonal cosmic entity.
Seek the Holy Spirit
The good news is that if you’re a believer, the Holy Spirit is already with you! He is just waiting for you to ask for guidance or understanding. But there are ways we can sabotage our relationship with Him. By habitually sinning and not repenting, avoiding prayer or spending time with God, or displaying anger toward God, we grieve the Spirit and can make relating to Him harder on ourselves.
The best way to seek the Holy Spirit is to spend time in God’s Word and prayer, as well as repenting of sin when we are convicted. Take the time to invest in your relationship with the Lord. Whether that involves shaking off sinful habits or adopting new ones, make choices you know God would be pleased with. And most importantly, you can’t develop a relationship with someone you never talk to! Spend time in prayer to the Spirit and get in the habit of asking for godly wisdom. With time, you’ll find your relationship with the Holy Spirit improving.
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
The ultimate promise of the Holy Spirit is that of guidance. This guidance can take many forms, including making difficult choices in our lives or simply understanding a passage of Scripture. But the most important type of guidance involves knowledge and conviction of sin. If you are truly in tune with the Spirit of God, you will know quickly if your behavior is pleasing to Him. Learn to listen to God’s voice and follow what He says.
Remembering the Role of the Holy Spirit
The amazing thing about the Holy Spirit is His closeness to every believer. We don’t have to go to a temple or ask someone to pray on our behalf. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, believers can speak directly to God and request wisdom from the Spirit of God! This is an immense privilege and one we should absolutely take advantage of.
Join the conversation to learn more about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.