I am not one to engage in hot-topic discussions. Those particular conversations tend to send me to the other room in pure un-comfortableness. But this one… this is one I think we need to talk about.
The Holy Spirit.
I don’t know why, but this particular part of our Christianity is an elusive discussion. People vary on this topic like the many stages of the moon. Some people think it’s only a charismatic thing. Other’s think it’s a Book of Acts thing. Some won’t touch the subject with a ten foot pole because they can’t explain it and it’s spooky. Other’s only focus on it, making it the focus of their lives, while others find it naturally part of everyday- Christian life.
Let’s face it. It’s like talking about sex.
But just like a good marriage can’t survive without the intimacy of a healthy sex life, your relationship with God can’t make it without the intimacy the Holy Spirit brings. Now, before you get squeamish, let me just say, I am not diving into the debate about speaking in tongues, or falling over “drunk in the spirit”, I am talking about the manifestation of God’s spirit within you. Whether you like it or not, your faith in God includes a faith in His Holy Spirit.
In Chapter 2 of Stronghold by Beth Kinder, I found this:
In order for Jesus to reach the whole world He knew He would have to die, because remaining on earth He was limited to time and space just like the limitations put on any other human. Jesus’ death would bring to us another.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you (John 14:16–17). Emphasis mine.
In this scripture Jesus shows the oneness of the Triune God, all three persons functioning in their unique but separate roles on our behalf. By asking God, Jesus recognizes God as the authority, and He [Jesus] positions Himself as the gateway to God. Then He introduces Himself as the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit as His replacement when He leaves.
Living this Christian life isn’t easy on our own. Really, that’s not new News. We all struggle with things; things like pride and envy. And I don’t know about you, but I also struggle with selfishness – especially when it comes to my agenda and no one else is on board. These struggles are not examples of a Christ-like life. And I fail every time I try to overcome them on my own.
Here is where the Holy Spirit comes in. He is grace dwelling within me. He is strength and peace and wisdom and joy. He is my access to faith.
Beth says just a short paragraph later:
Jesus was assuring His disciples things were changing for the better. He was telling them that their God, who they once distantly knew through the pages of their Torah, but had come to earth and personally involved himself in their lives, would not be leaving them but now be residing inside of them. Pause on that my friend. God went from being a distant God, to a personal God, and now an intimate God within them. Oh, the comfort in knowing God is not satisfied with anything less than an intimate relationship with us, and that intimacy with God is directly connected to our relationship with the Holy Spirit.
I want a faith filled life, one that is evident of His presence. I want a relationship with God that goes far beyond the pew and hymnal into my daily life with kids, dishes and traffic. This kind of faith relationship requires intimacy. It requires vulnerability and openness with the Holy Spirit. It is not built in do’s and don’ts but instead it is built in just being WITH Him.
“The presence of God in us produces the power of God through us.” Beth Kinder
This post is part of a series on Faith 2 Shine all about a book: Stronghold. The Secrets Beyond the Wall by Beth Kinder. Click the picture below for details!
Come back next week for thoughts on Chapter 3… it’s all about Love. Seriously- you DO NOT want to miss that one!