Holy Spirit, Help Us To Know You!
Though it’s possible to read the Bible & not know the Holy Spirit,
It is not possible to know the Holy Spirit and not read the Bible.
I am not here to tell you what I think but for all of us to begin (or continue!) walking together through what the Bible reveals about the Holy Spirit. Let’s dive into God’s Word together…
The Holy Spirit Is To Be Known
This is a very personal topic for me because for the last five + years I have felt a constant inner pull/desire to know the Holy Spirit more deeply, more personally, more Biblically. And that is perhaps the biggest takeaway I want all of you to leave with: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are meant to be KNOWN, not just known about. The Trinity is meant to be known personally, intimately, relationally, like a husband & wife know each other after 60 years of marriage. God is not to be dissected like a specimen but discerned through the Scriptures—He is to be known…indeed, Jesus said that knowing God deeply is the very definition of eternal life:
John 17:3: “Now this is eternal life: that they would know You, the One true God,
and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent.”
Jeremiah 9:23-24: This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.
Philippians 3:8-11: What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
I mean no offense at all to Star Wars, but the Holy Spirit is not the Force—He is not just powerful cosmic electricity. He is powerful, but He is to be known personally. We must ask God to help us get this right. If we don’t, then we are simply studying the LORD the way we study about George Washington or Amelia Earhart—two dimensional concepts in our libraries instead of the four dimensional Christ in our lives. Let’s look to the Bible to learn this…
The Holy Spirit Is To Be Listened To
Revelation 2:7,11,17,29, 3:6,13,22: “Whoever has ears,
let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Wow…the Lord Jesus says this phrase seven times in two chapters of Revelation!!!
We listen to the Holy Spirit:
- As we read the Bible. We don’t just read the Bible, it reads us (Hebrews 4:12-13)! We aren’t reading an ancient, dead document—the Word of God is alive because it comes from the God of the Word! Through the visual act of reading the Bible we also need to be listening spiritually: what is the Holy Spirit whispering to us through this passage, through this verse? How is He using this passage in our lives right now, like a painter applying certain colors and brushing techniques on a certain part of His canvas?
- As we learn to be quiet.
-Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.”
-Psalm 131:2-3: “But I have calmed and quieted myself [my soul], I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content [satisfied, desiring nothing, Psalm 23:1!]. Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.”
-1 Kings 19:11-13: God was present with and spoke to Elijah in a “gentle whisper.” We need to learn to listen to the whisper of the Holy Spirit with open Bibles and open hearts.
The Holy Spirit Is To Be Learned From
Reminding us what Jesus said/guiding us into all Truth
- John 16:12-15: “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
- Matthew 10:24/Luke 6:40: “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master…but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.”
- If Jesus truly is our Savior and our King, our Friend and our Master, if we truly believe that He is greater than us, then we will learn from Him, we will cry out to the Lord Jesus through His Holy Spirit to shape and change us to match up with Him.
Understanding/accepting/agreeing with God’s Word
1 Corinthians 2:9-16: “12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
- This is especially important today when we are tempted to not believe certain parts of the Bible that cause the American/world culture to be angry, to be upset, to hate Christians. Instead of changing God that He would agree with us, we must learn to cry out to God to change us that we would agree with Him. To do the latter we need the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit Is To Be Submitted To
Direction in life. Yes, the Holy Spirit wants to direct and guide us in our small and big decisions!
- Acts 16:6-10: Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
- Acts 15:28-29: It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
- But remember God’s gentle whisper—it will be hard to be guided by the Holy Spirit if we never learn how to be still and listen to Him with open Bibles and closed computers/silenced smartphones…
Conviction of sin
- John 16:8-11: When he comes, he will prove [convict] the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
- The Holy Spirit will pinch us—conviction!—& humble us as we read the Bible; He will diagnose our sin so that we can immediately go to Jesus in confession/repentance and receive His forgiveness and cleansing/transformation (1 John 1:9). He does this out of love, just as a doctor points out our disease out of love so that we can get the proper medicine to get healed, to get better. Let’s not run away from this important role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, this spiritual pinch/humbling/bringing low—let’s run towards the Holy Spirit and actively seek out His loving conviction!
The Holy Spirit Is To Be In Control Of Us/
Only The Holy Spirit Accomplishes Anything Through Us
E.g. The Wind In Our Sails [not our muscles as we row]. Neither our diplomas, intelligence, bank accounts, connections, nor strategies can accomplish anything—it is only the Holy Spirit working through us. We need more Bible and more Holy Spirit and less human techniques and strategies as Christians. This is all the early Church had, and this is all the early Church needed)
Eagles soar not by flapping wings harder
but by riding currents of air.
Christians do the same
by allowing the Holy Spirit to flow thru us (Romans 8:3-6)
- Zechariah 4:6: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
- Judges 14:6: “The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon [Samson] so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done.”
- 1 Corinthians 2:1-5: “And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
- 1 Corinthians 3:1-3: Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly.
- We are to learn how to live under the control of the Holy Spirit; as long as we aren’t controlled by Christ’s Holy Spirit we are controlled by the culture’s haughty spirit. We are never truly in control of our lives. The question isn’t “will we be controlled”; the question is “who/what will control us.”
- “Whatever you spend your time doing, that is what is discipling [controlling/teaching] you” (Pastor Scott Sauls). If the average Christian spends dozens of minutes per week digging into the Word and dozens of hours per week being drugged by the world, what are we going to think, believe, and act like? How can we really be like Jesus if we spend so little time with Him, and how can we NOT be like the world if we spend so much time with it?
It Is Better For Us On Earth
To Have the Holy Spirit In Us
Than the Lord Jesus Physically Next To Us
This is perhaps one of the most amazing statements in the Bible. Are you kidding me? I would TOTALLY rather have Jesus physically next to me every moment of the day than trusting that His Holy Spirit lives inside me! But that is where I am wrong, and that is where the Holy Spirit is helping me to realize the Truth of Jesus’ words in John 16:
- John 16:4-7: I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
- Think of your favorite athlete: would you rather have him/her cheering you on from the sideline during a game, or would you rather have him/her inside your mind, heart and body acting through you during a game? YOU BETCHA we’d rather have the athlete acting through us from the inside out! THIS is what the Holy Spirit does when we submit to Jesus as our King and receive Him as our Savior: He comes to live in us personally and rebirth and transform us from the inside out.
- Like a glove—by itself, it just sits on the closet or on a shelf. But with a hand in the glove, that same lifeless glove can now heal like a skilled surgeon, encourage with a high five or a pat on the back, help up those who have fallen down, hug & embrace those who are hurting, share with those who have little, etc. In the glove-hand relationship, the hand is the most important part. The Holy Spirit is in the hand of God in us doing through us what we could never do on our own as just a glove sitting on the shelf. THIS is why it is better for us on earth to have the Holy Spirit in us (but be encouraged that in heaven we will have the Holy Spirit in us AND King Jesus right next to us—YES!!!).
King David Begged God the Father To NOT Take The Holy Spirit From David
- Psalm 51:11: Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
- David was the most powerful earthly king at that time—he had everything a human could ask for: power, fame, wealth, and closeness with God. And what is the one thing he begged God not to take from him? Not the power, fame, or wealth, but the closeness with God through the Holy Spirit. THAT is powerful for us today…
The Holy Spirit Is Our Sealer, Transformer and Guaranteer
- Ephesians 4:30: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
- Like a waterproofing sealant is applied to wood to keep rainwater out to prevent rotting and decay, so the Holy Spirit seals us from the inside out to spare us from the holy judgment of God to prevent our spiritual rotting and decay!
- Galatians 5:21-22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
- No offense to Optimus Prime, but the Holy Spirit is our Transformer—He enables us to mature and grow and, assuming we partner with Him by keeping ourselves planted in the rich soil of the Bible and in the direct sunshine of Jesus’ presence, will produce in our character His own personal fruit, some of the characteristics of God Himself! The Holy Spirit will help us to reflect Jesus more and more, like a full moon reflects the sun to shine its brightness in the darkest of nights!
- 2 Corinthians 1:21-22: Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
- The Holy Spirit will help us to continue sticking with the Lord Jesus to the very end! He is the down-payment from God guaranteeing His promise that this life is not all there is, that we WILL someday see Jesus face-to-face and be with Him forever!!!
Where the Holy Spirit Is Present God The Father Is Present
- Psalm 139:7: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?
- This makes it even more amazing that the Holy Spirit lives within the hearts of those who receive Jesus as Savior—it means that God the Father is literally present within us. YES!
More soon from the Bible on the Holy Spirit...but hopefully the LORD will use this simple post to help us pursue the Holy Spirit, to help us know Him more closely, to help us dig through the Word of God to more fully know the God of the Word…