Do you ever think of the Holy Spirit as Someone you know a lot about but not Someone you really know personally? It’s like we know Him (cognitively) but don’t know Him (relationally).
The Holy Spirit rarely shows up in the O.T. and frankly rarely in the Gospels. Then all of a sudden, the church blows up in Acts 2, and the Holy Spirit is everywhere. In fact, about 50x in the book of Acts, there are references to the Holy Spirit.
Who is this Holy Spirit? What was He up to? And what is He up to now?
In the church today, you could say that most people fall into one of two categories of extreme.
- Some are all about experiencing the Spirit apart from the Word. They are clueless to what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit and are focused on listening to voices in their hearts, seeking signs from God in the heavens, waiting for God to audibly speak to them, etc. They fear the objective words because they think it some way restrains the Spirit’s movement.
- Some are all about understanding the Spirit in the Bible but don’t ever personally experience His presence or ministry. They know all the theological points, can explain most everything about the Holy Spirit biblically, but cannot identify the times in the life where the Spirit is leading them or filling them. They fear the experiences because it can be too subjective.
Either extreme is filled with good and godly men and women, but neither extreme is a healthy place to reside.
I contend that our Creator and His Word want us to have balance between the two. His desire would be that, just as we worship in spirit and truth, that the Holy Spirit would be a doctrinal and experiential pursuit.
In the weeks to come (on Wednesdays), we will attempt to bring balance to this issue – to educate ourselves about the ministries of the Holy Spirit and to demonstrate how we can experience the Holy Spirit in our lives.
By my count, there are 10 active ministries of the Holy Spirit, and we will survey all of them in the next few months: convicting, drawing, sealing, baptizing, indwelling, comforting, filling, illuminating, leading, and sanctifying.
Next Wednesday, the journey begins.