Good Day, all.
I was asked a few days ago to provide a focus for personal worship during this time of pseudo-isolation. As many of you know, I like to call attention to the individual encounter of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
Invisible, perhaps, but real. The Holy Spirit is probably the least understood person of the Trinity. Among the myths and the mistaken concepts that are shared, The Holy Spirit has been described as a force, a ghost, and a second-class, or replacement, god. The Holy Spirit has been confused with the Spirits, manifestations themselves, and has even been presented as an incidental figure that appears momentarily. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We call on the Ruah, the Breath of God, specifically at Pentecost and invoke the Holy Spirit in every Trinitarian blessing. So, I thought I would provide for you a sort of directed Bible Study in which you can contemplate the third person of the Trinity. I have gathered a few Bible verses to read and reflect on. You may remember others as you read. Look them up and pray them as well.
First, in a very personal way, the Spirit is a Person We read (and know) that the Holy Spirit has feelings. The Holy Spirit can become sad or angry, and when God’s children turn aside or blaspheme (Is 63:10; Mt 12:31; Ac 7:51; Eph 4:30; Heb 10:29).
Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them. - Isaiah 63:10
And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. - Matthew 12:31
“You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! - Acts 7:51
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. - Ephesians 4:30
How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? - Hebrews 10:29
The Holy Spirit reaches out in love and care for us, despite what is happening in the world (Neh 9:20; Jn 15:26; Ac 13:2; Rm 8:26,27; 15:30; 1Co 12:11).
You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. - Nehemiah 9:20
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. - John 15:26
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” - Acts 13:2
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. - Romans 8:26-27
I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. - Romans 15:30
All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. - 1 Corinthians 12:11
In the Book of Acts, we are told that once filled with the Spirit, “You will be My witnesses” (1:8). The Holy Spirit always reflects the person of Jesus in our lives and that is the distinguishing mark of the disciples, being a witness to Jesus Christ. Loving everyone is not the sign of the Holy Spirit; being a loving witness to Jesus Christ is. It is for the reason that the Holy Spirit was given to the Disciples at Pentecost: to “teach you all things, and remind you of all things that I said to you.” John 14:26 This revelatory action of the Holy Spirit fills us with love for the other.
When we turn to Genesis, we see the Ruah, the Holy Spirit of God hovering over the dark, disordered waters of the earth, ready to begin the New Creation. This same Holy Spirit is with you right now reminding you of your salvation through Jesus Christ. A New Creation is within you (2 Corinthians 5:17), hovering, ready. Call on the Holy Spirit, and the Breath of God will breath on you.
Father Bill Burk†