The Holy Spirit is a Person. That may seem like an obvious, trivial point. But, practically speaking, we do not treat the Spirit as a Person. We act as if He is something else. Something impersonal or secondary.
We know that all persons are thinking, feeling beings. They laugh, grieve, love, hope, dream. The Spirit of God does all these things. He is all that Jesus Christ would be if the Lord were still here, in bodily form, upon this earth.
Who is the Spirit of God?
To illustrate our confusion about the Spirit of God, there are believers who place an inordinate amount of focus on Him. They are focused on manifestations and experiences. They desire those things for many reasons. Miracles are supposedly meant to bolster the Christian’s faith, draw the unbeliever to Christ, and to provide a kind of personal affirmation from God for a believer.
For example, some Christians look for a miracle as an outward affirmation from God of one’s own conversion. The gift of “speaking in tongues” is a common experience taught within the Charismatic movement that gives assurance of salvation to a believer.
This is a serious error. And it is compounded by other attitudes toward the Holy Spirit that lead us down many rabbit trails of confusion.
The basic problem is that we do not truly understand that “the Lord is that Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17). We tend to think of the Spirit as a thing. As a force. A power. Something that can be harnessed to do a work for God. We just have to know the right formula. Get all our ducks in a row. Say the right words. Sing the “seven-eleven’s”, as my old friend, Ronnie, used to say. We sing the same seven verses eleven times! We get ourselves worked up into a chant-like state and claim that it is the “moving of the Spirit”.
It is amazing how much the Holy Spirit gets blamed for.
Some think of the Holy Spirit as the personification of goodness or holiness. He is not the personification of anything. He is not like Jack Frost, Mother Nature or Santa Claus. The Holy Spirit is God. He is the Lord. We do not control Him. We do not manipulate Him. He is as much God as the Father and the Son.
Glorify Jesus Christ
Our primary duty is to focus upon Jesus Christ. We only truly obey the Holy Spirit when we glorify Christ. The Lord said that the Holy Spirit would not speak of Himself but would lead us to Christ. The Spirit is to teach us and bring all things to our remembrance, whatever Christ has told us.
So, when we put the Word, doctrine, truth, teaching and exhortation into a secondary place, we are not following the Spirit. Regardless of how “moving” our worship services are. Regardless of the manifestations we see occurring. Unless the words of God are in first place and are at the core of all our “unity”, we are deceiving ourselves.
Because it is the Word, the sword of the Spirit, that allows us to discern the spirits. To try the spirits, whether they be of God. The world as well as the church is plagued with many false spirits that would deceive us. They would lead us toward false gospels and false Christ’s.
Let us ask the Lord to allow the Spirit of God to take us deeper into Jesus Christ and His truth. And wait patiently for God to distribute His comfort and blessings in His way and in His time.