Getting to know the Holy Spirit 

Previous page:  Honor God with Sacrifices

It is vital that we stay connected with the Holy Spirit if we plan to live for God.  The Holy Spirit is a "person" (yet fully God) who desires to have a relationship with us.  Too often people miss out on this wonderful relationship because of fear.  The result is that they feel distant and disconnected with God.  

The Holy Spirit's personality:  Knowing and understanding the Holy Spirit's personality will help us recognize the devil's lies that keep us from embracing the Spirit.  A common fear is that the Holy Spirit will deal harshly with us and condemn us for our sin.  This is a misimpression because the Spirit reveals God's wisdom to us with peace, gentleness and mercy (James 3:17).  In fact, one of the Spirit's names is "Comforter" (John 14:16) and one of his primary traits is peace (Romans 8:6; Romans 15:13).  

Another fear people sometimes have is that the Holy Spirit will seize control of them and make them do things against their will.  Demons have been known to do such things, but certainly not the Spirit of God!  The Holy Spirit is not a controlling spirit.  He will lead us when we yield our way to him.  He will not shout at us or try to control us against our will.  He will gently guide us and tell us what God wants us to do.  If we do not heed his voice, he will usually let us do what we want, even though it may grieve God and "quench" the Spirit's operation in us (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).   

The Holy Spirit is not self-seeking.  Every thing he does glorifies the Father and/or the Son (John 16:14).  He only speaks what he hears from the Father.  He is full of love, because God is love!  He loves us with perfect love, which is patient, kind, not envious, not bragging, humble, polite, not self-seeking, forgiving, rejoices in truth (not evil), bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Functions:  The Spirit does many things to help us live for God in victory over sin and evil.  Two of his primary functions are to:

If we hope to live in victory over sin and serve in God's kingdom, we must have the life and truth of the Spirit to withstand the trials and temptations that may come our way.  Therefore, we should take steps to ensure we are "keeping in step" with the Spirit at all times (Galatians 5:25).

Getting in tune with the Holy Spirit:  An analogy for this is tuning a radio to the right frequency for the station we want to receive.  Some actions we can take to maximize our connection with the Spirit include:

1.  Continually cast off the old self and put on the new self (see Old Self New Self):  Our "old self" will generate plenty of static that will hinder our tuning in to the Holy Spirit.  The most basic way to keep our spiritual tuner clean is to have a daily quiet time with the Lord that includes Bible study.  God's word will purify and sharpen our minds spiritually.

2.  Practice continuous prayer:  Maintain a prayerful attitude throughout the day and remember to be on the lookout for where God is working around you.  Paul said, "Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests" (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).  This type of "open prayer" dialogue can be a challenge to master, as many distractions can vie for our attention.  However, the more we practice it, the better we will become with it.  As a result, we'll be more sensitive to God and better able to recognize where he is working around us. (see Pray in the Spirit)

3.  Yield to the Spirit:  We need to heed the promptings and convictions that the Spirit gives us, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.  Often we're tested in faithfulness with small things before bigger things will be entrusted to us.  

The Spirit communicates with us in many different ways.  He may speak through scripture, people, circumstances, thoughts or an audible voice.  Once we've checked what we hear from the Spirit with the Bible, our response should then be to obey (Hebrews 12:25-29).  Since the Spirit provides critical guidance for us in truth, we can't afford to ignore his instruction!  

When we resist the Spirit and disobey his promptings, we will stall our spiritual growth and may even start backsliding into sin.  This is a very dangerous thing to do, because we risk being brought into greater deception by the enemy.  

Paul wrote, "But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:13-14 NKJV).  The challenge is to yield our will to the Spirit's will.  There will be many times when our flesh will not want to what the Spirit wants us to do.  If we persevere and make our flesh submit to the Spirit's will, we will truly move into our inheritance as sons of God.  Thankfully the Spirit is gentle in working with us.  He will give us tests for faithfulness as we are able to pass them and will not give up on us if we fail. 

The issue of trust can be challenging for people who prefer to be in control of their lives.  So often we like to know where we are going and what we will be doing. Jesus told Nicodemus that the Spirit moves like the wind, which we don't know from where it comes from or where it goes (John 3:8).  When we follow the Spirit, we may be asked to do things that we don't understand.  We may be asked to do things blindly with a leap of faith.  Instead of leaning on our own understanding, we must lean on the Spirit, trust him and step out.  

As we get to know the Holy Spirit and follow his guidance, we'll discover God's blessings filling our life (Psalm 103:2-5).  We'll begin to partake of our wonderful inheritance as sons of God through Christ (Galatians 4:7, Galatians 3:28-29, Ephesians 1:3).  

Personal Application Questions:

"Heavenly Father, I confess that I have resisted you in the following areas of my life: _______(list).  Please forgive me for ignoring your convictions and being rebellious.  Please re-kindle the fire of the Holy Spirit in me and give me a passion for purity.  Please give me a pliable heart that will follow you.  I commit myself to heeding your voice and obeying your promptings from this point forward.  Please empower me to obey in every instance by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Thank you, Father, for not leaving me as an orphan. Thank you for giving me new life through Jesus! In his name I pray, Amen."

Next page: Discovering the Gifts of the Spirit

Home     Freedom Journey 2