What the Holy Spirit Does
The Holy Spirit is the greatest gift we’ve been given as believers, and yet, masses of people live as if they have no access to Him. They are unaware of the here-and-now, living, deeply personal ministry of the Holy Spirit. They’ve been taught to settle for a God that’ll get you into heaven but pretty much leaves you on your own for everything else. This is the exact opposite of how God actually works.
One of my favorite passages is in John 16:12-15 when Jesus says, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”
This passage is LOADED with everyday, ongoing, easily-accessible, yet life-changing promises of God. When God began speaking to me concerning this passage several years ago, He pointed out four specific things to me that the Holy Spirit is continually doing for me, if only I have ears to hear and a heart to discern:
1. He is guiding me into ALL truth. I stress the “all” in this scripture because it’s an unbelievably vast statement Jesus made. ALL truth is an inclusive phrase that encompasses every single part of my life. Too many people, for whatever reason, have a discouragingly narrow understanding of what type of truth the Holy Spirit would reveal. They believe that all He ever does is give people “warm fuzzies” when they read certain scriptures and bring conviction to draw people into salvation and save them from hell. What a sad perspective! If that’s all the Holy Spirit ever did, life as a Christian would be pretty boring. (And honestly, most of the bored Christians I know have this kind of understanding of the Holy Spirit.) Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is unfathomably deeper and vaster than people have ever understood Him to be or given Him credit for. He doesn’t just “lead us into truth” about how to go to heaven or how to be forgiven by God; He leads us into truth about our daily lives: which job offer is best to take, whether it’s time to move forward with a dream, when it’s the right moment to confront an issue in a relationship, which people to stay away from, and which items to cut from our schedule when our plates are too full. He cares about ALL of it and is leading us into truth in ALL of these intricacies of our lives, if we’ll only take time to listen to Him.
2. He is speaking to me what He hears. The Holy Spirit is speaking to us everyday. I believe that the Holy Spirit is pursuing and speaking to every person on the planet, every single day. God desires that NONE would perish but that ALL would have life by coming to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). So clearly the Holy Spirit is speaking not only to the redeemed but is also speaking to non-Christians, drawing them to God’s heart. This, of course, is heightened and more easily discernible (or should be), in the life of the redeemed because the Holy Spirit is actually living inside of them. His voice often remains difficult to perceive even for Christians when they are living and thinking according to the flesh and are not walking in the Spirit (renewing their mind by being in the Word, intentionally turning their thoughts and affections towards Him, living in a posture of worship, etc.). For believers, though, hearing the Spirit’s voice is sweet, life-giving, and addictive. You grow in your recognition of His voice as you desire it more and give greater place to it in your life.
3. He is telling me what is yet to come. This is one amazing promise! As children of God, we don’t have to wander around aimlessly, unable to discern what God is doing or when something major is about to happen. The Holy Spirit is so sweet in the way He gives us unctions about things that are about to happen. This forewarning/expectancy He stirs in us prepares us for what’s ahead, be it something good like a long desired breakthrough, or something hard that we’ll need His strength for. He gives insight into both positive and negative future happenings. It isn’t one or the other. But there is always purpose in His revealing something to us ahead of time. It isn’t simply to wow us. It is often a prayer directive (our prayers can play a part in seeing the thing manifest, come to a head, etc.) or an anchor of hope that assures us the breakthrough is coming. Even when it’s a forewarning of something hard, the Holy Spirit always speaks in a way that brings peace; He does not stir up fear and is not the author of confusion. Those are from the kingdom of darkness.
4. He is taking from what belongs to Jesus and making it known to me. Wow! In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3)…and Jesus promises us in the passage that the Holy Spirit is accessing those treasures and making them known to US! There is a depth and a beauty and a mystery to this promise that can’t be put into words. I have access to everything that’s inside of Christ???? It’s a privilege beyond comprehension that very few of us have even begun to tap into. This stirs such expectation in my heart as I get into the presence of God: the cure for cancer is hidden inside of Jesus, the cure for AIDS, the answer to that business issue, the strategy to rebuild that broken relationship, the creative idea that can take a ministry to the next level, the words to pray that will break the yoke of bondage over a person’s life, the song to sing that will cause Jericho’s walls to fall, the response that will run strife out of the room and restore peace, the story to share that will ignite fresh hope inside of a person, the gift to bless someone with that will speak right to their heart and restore their faith, …the revelation to which we have access in Christ is ENDLESS!
I have so many awesome stories of how the Holy Spirit has done each of these things in my life. I plan to share some of them in my next post.