There was once a lady attending one of those cold-dead churches that we all dread.
While the preacher was preaching, she stood up and proclaimed, "I found the Holy Spirit! I have found the Holy Spirit!"
Immediately, a grumpy old deacon stood up and yelled even louder, "Sit down and be quiet, because you didn't find Him here!"
Sadly, I think that story can ring true in too many churches. We've probably all experienced worship gatherings where we thought to ourselves, "I know God is omnipresent, but it sure feels like He is nowhere close to this place!"
I've heard other leaders say that as evangelical Christians we typically treat the Holy Spirit as that weird uncle or cousin of the family. We know He exists, and we know that He is a part of the Trinity of God, but because we don't now what to do with Him, we tend to ignore Him.
There can definitely be a lot of confusion, emotionalism, and flat out abuse of the Scriptures when it comes to the doctrine, presence, and work of the Holy Spirit. However, if we don't desperately depend upon the Holy Spirit while living our daily lives, then we can never expect to walk and live in the freedom and victory that only comes from the Spirit of our great God!
One of the most important things we can do as Christians is to constantly remember the job descriptions of the Holy Spirit. The résumé of the Holy Spirit could literally fill large libraries! However, I am going to use this brief moment of your day to point out at least six truths about the Holy Spirit that we simply can't ignore in faithfully walkng with Jesus:
1. The Holy Spirit authored the Scriptures.
Anything that we know about God and how to live with God comes from the Bible. We are thankful that the Holy Spirit authored the Scriptures through the pens of men!
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" – 2 Timothy 3:16
"...knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." – 2 Peter 1:20 – 21
2. The Holy Spirit exalts Jesus.
Any kind of work of the Spirit that puts more focus on "giftings," "expressions," and "fillings" than it does Jesus, you can be sure that work is not from the Holy Spirit. The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to exalt Jesus. The Spirit has come that we might be deeply impressed with the person of Jesus Christ and go away excited about His work.
"But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me." – John 15:26
3. The Holy Spirit makes us the church.
The church is a not a building, but rather the church is a people. When the Spirit of God makes His home inside of us as believers, we become the church. We are now the temple of the Holy Spirit sent to tell the world that Jesus is alive!
"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" – 1 Corinthians 3:16
4. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin.
First, the Spirit awakens us to the reality of sin and the need of a Savior. Second, as a born-again child of God, the Spirit in us will awaken a heightened sense of sin. Where things may not have bothered us before, now there is a grieving that takes place when there is sin.
"And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement." – John 16:8
5. The Holy Spirit guides us in everyday life.
We're completely dependent on the work of the Spirit to help us understand His Scriptures, to accurately guide us to live according to the Word, and to direct us in the ways of righteousness and holiness.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." – Galatians 5:22 – 23
6. The Holy Spirit seals believers until the day of redemption.
One of God's great desires is for His people to feel secure in His love and power as they go out to be witnesses to the world. Everything else in life may be unpredictable and unstable — our health, job, relationships, and the world. However, our identity in Christ and eternal destination are completely sealed, and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." – Ephesians 4:30
"For I am sure that neither death nor life, n
or angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." – Romans 8:38 – 39
Lord, make us Spirit-filled Christians who faithfully proclaim the Spirit-authored Scriptures to a people who are being Spirit-awakened for the glory of God to be witnesses to a lost world that's in desperate need of the Spirit's work!
Shane Pruitt is director of Missions for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.