There is so much power in the Holy Spirit! We are really missing out on this life-giving power when we rely on ourselves and pay little or no attention to the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 says:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This verse teaches me that the Holy Spirit does its work in my heart as I’m trusting God. The word “as” is used to indicate that something happens during the time when something is taking place. The Holy Spirit isn’t a mystical feeling that suddenly comes over me, but rather its power is unleashed in my heart and mind while I’m trusting, obeying and loving God.
The Holy Spirit is all about a relationship not a feeling.
Have you ever visited Niagara Falls and stood on the Maid of the Mist boat that takes you as close to the falls as possible before the boat is sucked into its thunderous flow? I have. The power that is generated from the falls is breathtaking. I believe The Holy Spirit can have that much power in our lives.
My decision to stay close to God and trust him as I was fighting my way through the vortex of losses in my life during the past four months has given the Holy Spirit room in my heart to work its power in my life.
Now that I am looking back on these losses (the death of my sister, my divorce, the death of my dog and the death of my mother), my tears have yet to dry up. At some point every day I cry, yet I am overflowing with gratitude, hope, joy and peace. This can only be the power of the Holy Spirit. Without my relationship with God I am a fearful, skeptical and pessimistic person.
There are 543 verses in the Bible that mention the Holy Spirit or Spirit. To study out the workings and purposes of the Spirit in the Bible is quite an undertaking but a necessary one. However, in this blog I share three roles the Holy Spirit plays in my life.
The Holy Spirit is my comforter.
The definition of comforter is reliever or consoler. Have you ever had someone try to console you when you were upset or sad or dealing with a huge loss and it was anything but consoling to you? Pat answers or generic comments that are said about your situation are not helpful.
Jesus knows just the right words to say when we are in need of comfort. In John 14:15-18 Jesus comforts his disciples who were feeling fearful and concerned about their future. He begins by asking them to make a commitment to love him and keep his commands, and he then assures them of his commitment to them by promising that he will never leave them as orphans because he is sending them the Holy Spirit.
If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
On a Saturday morning back in October, I felt alone and fearful as I was driving from Bend to Medford (in a fluke snow storm) to find a house in Medford for me to live in alone. I almost turned back 30 minutes into the drive but then decided to trust that the Holy Spirit was willing and ready to comfort me during this transition. That weekend I found a home in Medford that I absolutely love. If I turned back and gave up, my town home may not have been available the next time I was able to visit Medford.
The Holy Spirit is my advocate.
An advocate is a supporter, backer or activist. Don’t you want to have an advocate in your life fighting your battles?
Jesus says in John 16:7-11:
Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
The world is full of sin, lies and corruption and without the Holy Spirit I will be deceived by the arguments of the world that directly oppose the knowledge of God. Relying on my own morals, common sense and emotional intelligence is not enough to recognize the sin that is in my life. The Holy Spirit is my advocate and protector against the schemes of Satan which attempt to lull me into a life that is not pleasing to God by leading me to believe I’m ok when I compare myself to other people.
Ephesians 6:12 says:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
When I fill my mind with the promises of the Bible and love God with all my heart, and soul and mind, then the Holy Spirit rises vigorously to action to help me fight off the destructive thoughts of pride, anger, bitterness and resentfulness and replace them with hope, joy and peace.
The Holy Spirit is my interceder.
Have you ever sat down to pray but your heart was so full of pain, confusion and fear that you didn’t know how to begin or what to say? This has happened to me a lot in the past four months. When this happens, I do not get up and walk away and give up on my attempt to connect with God. Instead I stay put on the couch and I wait for the Holy Spirit to give me the words to say. I don’t concern myself about what God thinks about my short and jumbled sentences because I know the Holy Spirit is interceding for me and communicating to God on my behalf.
Romans 8:26 says:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
When someone intercedes for you they mediate, negotiate and plead on your behalf. The reason the Holy Spirit can do this so well is because it knows my weaknesses and searches my heart, so the spirit converts my disjointed and jumbled words into the most beautiful poetry that perfectly communicates my heart to God.
The picture in this blog post that my daughter took of Tumalo Falls reminds me of how God intends for the Holy Spirit to never stop flowing into our hearts. It is like the generator that keeps the power going when we need hope against all hope and peace when there really isn’t peace and love when we need to forgive.
I am grateful that I can place my confidence in the Holy Spirit to fill my heart to overflowing with hope.