So I'm assuming most of you have heard of the Holy Spirit and know that the Spirit lives inside us. But what exactly is it? The Holy Spirit is much more than most people give it credit for, and that is simply because many of us simply do not fully understand what the Spirit is. This whole year was exactly that for me, but this last week God has been revealing some of the mysteries of the Spirit to me. This is going to be the first of a 3-part series on the Holy Spirit. However, while i would like to do one each week, I will be hiking the Big Bend trail next week, and after that I will be working at Camp Ozark. So really, after these posts, I will not be updating until after I get back from Ozark the beginning of July.
Anyway, this post is going to be about the character of the Holy Spirit: what exactly is it and what is its purpose?
Genesis 1:1-2, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." It is to be understood that the Spirit of God has existed since before the creation of the world. 2 Corinthians 3:17, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom." The Father and the Spirit are one in the same, and so it can be said that the Spirit of God has existed for as long as God himself has existed, that the Spirit has always existed just as God has.
But why does the Spirit even exist? Well the Spirit is essentially God's presence in this world. It exists as one of the main ways in which God interacts with this world and communicates with us. 1 Corinthians 2:4, "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power." It is because of the Holy Spirit that we may all come to know God; if we were just taught about God, but never experienced who He is, how then would we be sure of our faith? How would we know if our faith was real, that our God really exists? Look at other religions: their beliefs are based on the concept of a god that does not interact with humans, and so there is no way to prove that their God even exists. But we have the Holy Spirit as proof that our God exists. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Paul describes some of the gifts that are given by the Spirit, and explains that the Spirit exists to reveal the power of God through us, and to glorify God by that same power. So when we are asked to prove that our God exists, we have been given the tools by which we can prove that He exists. I personally have been given several spiritual gifts, and have seen others with their gifts, and have seen the Spirit work in incredible ways.
Last September, I was in a pretty serious bike accident that resulted in the tendon running over my ankle being severed. However, I could not get an x-ray until the following day, and so I and several of my friends prayed for healing. It was absolutely amazing, the next day I woke up to find that my foot was completely healed; I could move it in ways that it simply would not move the night before, and the only thing wrong was that it was swollen, like a sprain. That weekend was World Mandate, an annual missions conference with Antioch, and there were people that prayed for it that weekend as well; one time I distinctly recall my ankle going cold during the prayer and when it was finished I could put weight on it where I could not before without incredible pain. After like 4 days I was walking on it like nothing had happened, and when I went back to the nurse, he was cursing because he was so surprised at how my ankle looked.
And miraculous healing is just one of the ways that the Spirit is revealed to us. The Spirit also reveals itself to us through wisdom, opening our minds to understanding what we could never understand before; many of these posts I feel like it isn't even me writing, that I just write things as they are revealed to me and the end result is a post that is so much more insightful than anything I was planning to write initially. The Prophets of the Old Testament were revealed God's plan by the Holy Spirit (Peter 1:21). It is entirely God's will that we are blessed enough to have the Spirit with us always, and it is for His glory that the Spirit is revealed to us and through us. The Spirit exists because God wants to communicate with us, speak to us, help us, change us. The Spirit exists because God loves us.