Thursday, August 26, 2010

How does this Holy Spirit thing work?

Any person who seeks after God and who makes Jesus the Leader and Forgiver of their life will experience the living presence of the Holy Spirit inside them. No Christian is left out of this. All of us have received the same Spirit in the same full measure.

But what does that really mean in a practical way? I recently re-read one of the clearest, most straight forward passages on this subject in the Bible - John 16:5-16.
When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment . . . - John 16:8

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. - John 16:13

He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. - John 16:14
Now that is pretty simple. I have found that the Spirit works in my life more through gentle nudges and leadings or through what Bill Hybels calls "a whisper." When the Holy Spirit "whispers" I am able to see things I didn't see before - through God's eyes and not my own. I am more aware of what is and isn't true. I am reminded of what is right and wrong and sometimes, when there are several good options open, what is better and best. I believe through a "whisper" God has given me exactly the right words to say to diffuse an argument or to bring reconciliation to a conflict. One final thing, I have had many times where the Spirit "whispered" and I was convicted of a sin I had done, was doing or was considering in the future.

Now that's my personal experience. Additionally, I have seen the Spirit transform pretty complicated situations and lead people to make decisions big and small to leave a path that didn't honor God to walk a path that did.

In short, I am a sold out believer in the power of the Holy Spirit and His "whispers." I find that if I trust His leading even when circumstances don't go my way, I can never go wrong. He can take the most complex and make it simple, the darkest places and make them light and remove the greatest obstacles to bring clarity.

What has been your experience with the Holy Spirit?

How do you understand Him to work in your life?

How do you know when He is "whispering?"


  1. Have just finished listening to Focus on the Family.Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman were discussing the death of their little daughter, Maria, and the fact that two of their children were involved in this heart breaking tragedy.One of the things they spoke about was a note they received from a pastor friend which read, "God is a bigger part of your future than He ever was your past."Soon after sending this, his son was killed in an automobile accident. All of this reminded me of the scripture Pastor Jim had used here, John16:5-16.I thought of all of us in our church who have lost children to death, and vs.7 which says,"Neverless I tell you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you." Do understand that He whispers to us in many different ways, but never so helpful as when we are missing a child.Have to say, in another thought line,so thankful for the times when I have heard His whispered caution, when I am about to go in the wrong direction.This was such a great blog, so helpful to me.

  2. Acts 4:8 (New International Version)
    8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people!

    Acts 4:31 (New International Version)
    31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
    Acts 6:3 (New International Version)
    3Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them
    Acts 8:14-16 (New International Version)
    14When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.15When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into[a] the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
    Acts 13:52 (New International Version)
    52And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
    Acts 19:2 (New International Version)
    2and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?"
    They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."

    In light of these scriptures, it seems that Peter was filled again after Pentecost. They were filled again with the Holy Spirit again and the building shook. Choosing the 7, if every Christian is filled with the spirit, why were they instructed to find spirit filled Christians? Why didn’t the Samaritan Christians have the filling of the Spirit? Some were saved and received the Holy Spirit after they believed. Can you explain these things? Maybe this filling of the Spirit is the 2nd work of grace the Church of God founders wrote about.

  3. sometime I feel the Holy Spirit so strong like finding family I had been searching for for yrs. But in major places and descions that I am facing struggling in which way to go I feel lost and confused I dont know when something is God works or just because of my life

  4. Jim:

    The Holy Spirit has certainly been a guide in my life. The Holy Spirit gives me a vision for my future. HE has helped me to know when I arrive where God wanted me in the first place and confirms and comforts me in decision making. Lately the Holy Spirit has been challenging me to spend more quality seeking rather than quantity. I have spent more time praying but not creating the closeness that I desire. I am looking forward to what direction God gives as I put more discipline in my Spiritual walk with God. I appreciate the challenge make it more practical.

  5. Anonymous listed several texts from Acts that spoke of a separate "filling" from the Holy Spirit and then asked for a little more explanation. Here is my short answer:

    I think the New Testament speaks of an indwelling and an infilling of the Spirit.

    Every Christian has been indwellt with the Spirit immediately at the point of their receiving Jesus. To not have the Holy Spirit is to not have Jesus. Romans 8 is pretty explicit here.

    There are times, however, when the Holy Spirit fills people in extraordinary ways for specific purposes and tasks. Stephen is an example of this in Acts 6-7.

    As for the Samaritan Christians or Appolos in Acts, they only knew the baptism of John. They had yet to really receive Christ.

    Hope this helps.

  6. I believe what you say is true. I believe that when I was saved in March of 1983 that God renewed a commitment I had made when I was younger. But this time, he really changed me and my way of thinking. I had a fresh desire and new determination to study God's word more deeply, commit verses to memory and seek him in areas of my life that I had never committed to him. He had touched my life several other times but I had never really called on him with prayer requests, seriously needing answers. I also was learning how to pray for my family at the time. I beleive that He encourages us to Ask and it shall be given unto us, to seek and we will find and to knock and the door will be opened- for those who ask, receive, for those who seek, find, for those who knock, the door will be opened. I also believe that His Spirit guides you to move- to help others, to encourage, to meet needs,show mercy and forgive others. I believe he is constantly attentive to us- forgiving and meeting our needs and "refilling" us. And I think it is an ongoing process.

  7. Hello! I was glad the moment I opened up this web page of your domain. What was the biggest goal at that moment when you took a decision to build a site?