The GPS was set, and I headed out for an appointment in a part of the city not familiar to me. I was confident “Pearl” would navigate and deliver me right on time. After a number of twist and turns, she said, “you have arrived at your destination.” Well, it didn’t look like my destination!
Parked in the driveway, I was immersed in hundreds of flowers, vines, unknown bushes, birds, butterflies, and garden flags. It was sensory overload! I felt uncomfortable because I didn’t know how to organize what my eyes were seeing. I picked up my phone and called to verify I was at the right place. A friendly voice said, “Come on down the street one house and you’ll see my truck.” I backed out of the driveway and headed next door. With a smile of relief, I entered a normal looking driveway and yard. I felt safe.
I have thought about my experience all week. I knew there was a lesson to be learned and so I waited for wisdom and revelation during my prayer time. I was reminded of the portrayal of the Holy Spirit in the NY Times best seller, “The Shack”, by William P. Young. The Christian novel stirred controversary when the Trinity was represented by unusual characters. Many people reacted because they failed to read the book as a Christian novel but tried to embrace it as a work of theology.
In the book, the Holy Spirit was represented by an Asia woman named Sarayu. She was always creating, growing her eclectic garden, and appearing when least expected. My experience this week reminded me of Sarayu’s garden and her creative genius. It also reminded me that the work of the Holy Spirit is often messy!
I think one of the reasons people react to the Holy Spirit more than the other members of the Trinity is because the Holy Spirit is hard to contain or control. Just when you think you understand what the Holy Spirit will do in a situation, something else happens. Just when you think you know how conviction and repentance will come as a work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life, it comes another way! The Holy Spirit truly lives outside the box, and we humans like for things to have their own place and for people to behave a certain way. The Holy Spirit is unnerving!
The Greek word for Spirit is “ pneuma” and it means breath or wind. By its definition we are told the Holy Spirit cannot be contained like the wind cannot. It can blow gently as to cool your face on a warm summer day, or it can blow with power like a category 5 hurricane. The term Holy Spirit is used 101 times in the New Testament, and it is an undeniable part of the life of a new testament Christian. It is not to be feared but to be embraced as a gift of comfort, help, teaching, and power. Let’s look at some scriptures on the Holy Spirit.
John 14:25-27 NKJV, “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Matthew 3:11 NKJV, “ I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Acts 1:4-5 NKJV, “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 1:8 NKJV, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts10:38 NKJV, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” The Holy Spirit is a gift from God, poured out by Jesus so the church could have power and authority in this world. It is nothing to be afraid of, however, it is messy, creative, and not easy to put in a religious box. Study the word and discover the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the power it gives you to lead the Christian life