We’ve been fooled! Royally duped by ourselves and those we trusted to tell us the truth! Worst of all, it’s our fault; cut and dry, no two ways about it, we did this to ourselves.
The gospel of John, in chapter 16, outlines the purpose and the methods of the Holy Spirit. But the one thing it makes abundantly clear is that the Holy Spirit is not a feeling or a power, He is a person. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are fundamentally the same. They are 1 and they are unified, yet they function differently. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is made very plain by Jesus Himself when He tells His disciples about the Comforter He will send them.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
The Comforter, the Holy Spirit of God comes to reprove the world; to convict hearts and minds of 3 things, and only 3 things. The Holy Spirit’s purpose is very specific and many things we attribute to Him are an assault and slander to His nature and purpose. The Holy Spirit operates in 3 areas to reprove the world of these things:
- Of Sin
- Of Righteousness
- Of Judgement
The Bible doesn’t stop there. It goes on to give us an explanation of why, and consequently how the Spirit of God does these things. Why? To prove that it is true by virtue of the evidence and conviction we feel within us that it is so.
The Holy Spirit isn’t your personal buddy. Nor is He a vending machine for blessings. He is to correct us concerning our sin; to convict us when we are in sin. The Spirit shows us true righteousness, because the form of righteousness, Jesus, is no longer here to look upon for an example. Also to reprove us concerning the judgement to come. Why, that we would walk worthy of the calling wherewith we have been called. The Spirit of God does all of this.
This Person exists in our lives and in the world as our Comforter…?
I know, it’s hard to imagine someone so strict, so stern, so correctional, so authoritative as a comfort. But where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is joy. We don’t need to forget that the Spirit of God is the presence of God and in His presence there is fullness of joy. But too often we ask things of the Holy Spirit that are not in accordance to what Jesus said He is here to do.
Too often we ask for miracles so that we will believe, when our belief is required for the miracle to take place. Paul and Silas didn’t ask to be set free from jail to believe that God was great and worthy of glory. They praised God, believing Him to be who He said He is, and the miracle came. The Holy Spirit moves when we believe. The Holy Spirit can work miracles today, but under the same circumstances and for the same purpose that He did them before.
God does not conform to our perceptions or beliefs of Him. The fruit of the Spirit is not emotional breakdowns, diversity of tongues, or the ability to breakdance, sing well, make money, or anything tangible and eternally worthless. The fruit of the Spirit is the intangible things which accompany living a life like Christ lived. Ultimately, that is the goal of the Spirit working in us: to make our lives resemble Christ. Sure, if the Spirit gets a hold of your life, you might dance for joy; for there is great joy in knowing your calling and seeing God move. Absolutely, when the Spirit gets a hold of you, your life will change, miracles will happen in a million different ways. But that’s not why He comes, that is the evidence that He is there.
Not always does the working of the Spirit manifest itself in such obvious ways, but sometimes it does. The Spirit is for our good and for our Christian living. But a Spirit-fillled church is never characterized by the emotion you feel in the service. The mark of a Spirit-filled church is the same as a Spirit-filled life, that its members would walk in righteousness, living as Jesus lived. I’m not an expert on this, and I don’t claim to know everything. But, I know that Jesus is the Word, and the Word is truth. He sent the Holy Spirit to make me more like Him, and by any means, whatever it costs me, I want that. Do you?
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist