Welcome to week two of our Embrace the Word study on “The Holy Spirit: Welcoming the Comforter.” Last week, we discussed responding to the Holy Spirit. When we respond obediently to the Holy Spirit, we grow more sensitive to His leading. I pray that you will consistently welcome and respond to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. He will always guide you in the ways of Christ.
This week’s reading and writing focus has been on the works of the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit is working, but you must know that the Holy Spirit is at work in you. The Holy Spirit lives on the inside of every believer. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16).
I AM the Temple of the Holy Spirit
Many believers take this truth too lightly. This is why Paul emphasizes this truth twice to the believers in Corinth. (1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19). He wanted them to know that they were bought with a price and were not their own. This truth should cause us all to think twice before dishonoring our body, the temple of God.
You ARE a house. You house the very presence of God. He lives in you! He lives in you to empower you to live the life of a conqueror. His daily presence and communion should send a fresh gale to your soul. But, just like with the Corinthian church, Paul had to ask, “Do you know,” (no really, do you know?) “that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit?”
My husband was in the U.S. Navy. He retired after 24 years. During his Navy career, he deployed 12 times! I missed Him terribly each time He deployed, and I lived for phone calls or emails. At the end of every deployment, I eagerly awaited his return with bated breath!
Now that he is retired, we are together ALL THE TIME. If I’m not careful and intentional, his presence can become commonplace. It can be easy to take his presence for granted. Honestly, I am still very much in love. But, at times, I realize the butterflies in my tummy aren’t fluttering as fast or as vigorously as they had at other times.
Sadly, this is how we treat the beautiful gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Many are aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence but often treat Him like He is just another person with whom you’ve become familiar.
We need more than just knowledge of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Many know that He lives in them but still live a lackluster life that lacks power, inspiration, and vitality. But if we want to walk in the fullness of God, begin by acknowledging the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Cultivate a Fruitful Relationship With the Holy Spirit
Don’t just know He is there; long to experience the Holy Spirit in a real way. Daily, ask for His guidance and help. The Holy Spirit is gentle. He does not come to control you. Instead, you must yield to His will and promptings. He may figuratively take you by the hand and lead you, but He will not drag you along against your will. What’s beautiful is the more you acknowledge His presence, the more sensitive you will become to His presence. Don’t take the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence for granted! Remember, He is God, living in you.
Whether you are new to the reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit or if you’ve taken Him for granted, start afresh today. I know I just said this, but it is worth confessing again. Don’t just read it; say it aloud (If I were there with you, I’d shout it from the rooftop!)–I AM the Temple of the Holy Spirit! The very presence of God lives in ME!
Know Him as a Teacher
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the thing that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 1 Corinthians 2:13
We can develop our relationship with the Holy Spirit by engaging with the Word of God. When we come to the Word with open hearts and minds, we invite the Holy Spirit in. He helps us understand spiritual truths. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we cannot fully understand spiritual truths. Our intellect cannot discern the things of God. The Holy Spirit leads us to all truths (John 16:13). He gives us deeper insight and wisdom. Open your heart and welcome the Teacher.
Know Him as a Helper
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:26
The word “Helper” (Comforter) in this verse comes from the Greek word Paraklētos, which means “one called alongside to help.” The Holy Spirit is the help we need at all times. He brings comfort and aid. He is the divine power we need to help us endure hardness as good soldiers (2 Timothy 2:3). He brings what we have learned back to our remembrance. There are situations when we need to remember those truths we have heard when life tries to snatch away our joy, hope, and peace. In those moments, the Holy Spirit will bring back Words of life that soothe our souls and give us the strength to keep going. Welcome the help of the Holy Spirit.
Know and Welcome His Conviction
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. John 16:7-8
The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin. He is the one who draws the unbelieving heart to Christ. The Holy Spirit continues to work in the life of the believer. He sweetly convicts us to help us grow up and mature spiritually. When we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we will know when we should be silent and when we should speak. He will prod us to do the right thing, especially when we want to do the wrong thing. He will gently nudge our hearts to obey God. Welcome the Holy Spirit to empower you to live righteously for God.
Know Him as an Intercessor
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27
We have many weaknesses as humans. One of those weaknesses is our finite minds. We don’t know everything, and sometimes we don’t even know what to pray for. Sometimes our hearts are so heavy that we can’t pray! It is in these times that the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us. The Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf with groanings too deep for words. The Holy Spirit speaks to God for us. My father always says, “The Holy Spirit prays the perfect prayer.” Welcome the intercession of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit helps us in many other ways. He will strengthen you (Ephesians 3:16), teach you what to say (Luke 12:12), help you avoid bad situations (Acts 16:6-8), and so much more. Cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Welcome His works to be active in your life.
Our relationship with the Holy Spirit should be fruitful and relevant. It should be a beautiful friendship because the Holy Spirit is a person. He is not an inanimate object or a mystical presence. He is as real in us as your closest friend. He IS a friend who desires and leads us to what is best for our lives. This fruitful relationship can change your life if you let it. A.W. Tozer once said, “It is one thing to believe the Bible, but something else altogether to allow the Bible, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, to impact your life.”
**This teaching contains excerpts from the book Dwell: Living Life Fully, Knowing that the Holy Spirit Lives in You by Erica Bryant.
As I always say, the Word WORKS! We are walking in WHOLENESS, OBEDIENCE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and KINGDOM SUCCESS through the Word of God!
Your friend in the journey,