Last night we had our second cell group on the Holy Spirit – ‘Meet the Holy Spirit’ was the title of the session. This morning I’m trying to gather my thoughts about what we discussed…to say I feel challenged, stretched, out of my depth even, would all be fairly accurate. This is challenging stuff. Something within me also feels that it’s hugely significant for us. I love the group itself – all late teens/early twenties – those who I believe will be the ‘shapers’ of days to come. A privilege to be amongst them…
Let me try to pull together and articulate some of the main points:
The Holy Spirit is divine. He is God. This reality is contested and denied by many, but it has to be foundational to what we believe about the Holy Spirit. ‘…the Trinity….three distinct divine Personalities, each wholly God, yet one essence’. Some verses we looked at where Psalm 139:7-10, Luke 1:35, 1 Cor 2:10-11, Heb 9:14.
The Holy Spirit is personal. Not a force. Not far off. Not just a symbol. Personal. Not an ’it’ but ‘He’. He is within us. He brings God close. Often we don’t acknowledge this, perhaps we don’t think enough about the personal nature of the Spirit of God within us. He can be lied to (Acts 5:3), grieved (Eph 4:30), quenched (1 Thess 5:19), resisted (Acts 7:51), blasphemed (Matt 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-29, Luke 12:10). We should live in a way that acknowledges the personal nature of the Holy Spirit.
Divine and yet personal. How can that be? Part of that is the beautiful mystery that is God: Father, Son and Spirit. Almighty, eternal God…and yet desiring a close and personal relationship with his children.
One comment was made that perhaps it’s ‘comfortable’ to keep God at a distance. And yes, it probably is. That would be ‘safe’. But for God to be so personally interested and involved in our lives by his Spirit adds a whole new dimension to life. When telling his disciples about the Holy Spirit who would come to be with them, Jesus says that the world will not accept or know Him. But he says these four words to his followers: ‘but you know him’.
I believe the challenge for us is this: do we know Him? Do we want to know him? Do we want to know more of Him and His presence in our lives?
Next time: the Work of the Holy Spirit. I’m already looking forward to it!
(Maybe you’ve read this and have all sorts of questions…I’ve definitely not got all the answers but I’d love to chat to you about it, so please get in touch)