“Breathe on me, breath of God; fill me with life anew, that I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do.” (Edwin Hatch 1835–1889)
There was a small boy who had recently come to know the Lord through his Sunday School teacher. He asked his father; “How can I believe in the Holy Spirit when I have never seen Him?” His father, a man of the sea, replied…
“Do you remember when we sat on the jetty, dipping our feet into the cool water. You asked me then: ‘What is the wind?’ There was a long pause while we sat watching the breeze ruffle the water. I don’t know, I replied. I can’t tell you what the wind is but I know how to hoist a sail. Later, you asked me, ‘How does prayer work?’ Son, I said, I don’t know how prayer works, I only know that it does. In the same way I know the Holy Spirit is real and is there to help and guide us, but we can’t see Him. You can believe in the Holy Spirit because you can see what He does when people give their hearts to Jesus Christ and He comes into their lives.
Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) one time atheist who became a devout follower, wrote: “I have often, myself, sat in darkness, and cried aloud for the Holy Spirit to deliver me from the fantasies that gather round a parched soul like flies round a rotting carcass in the desert. Likewise, I have sat tongue-tied, crying out to be given utterance, and delivered from the apprehensions that afflict the earth-bound. And never, ultimately, in vain. Jesus’ promise is valid; the Comforter needs only to be summoned. The need is the call, the call is the presence, and the presence is the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth.”
The disciples were worried by the thought of Jesus leaving them (John chapter 14). Jesus himself was concerned at the effect His death would have on them all. And so He tried to get them to understand why it has to happen (vs.12). He explained that His return to God will be to their good: it will bring new power in action, new certainty in prayer (vs.12-14). Most importantly the Holy Spirit will come to be with them always and not limited by a physical presence. The Spirit would teach and counsel and remind them of all He had said (vs.16,17,26).
The Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity. As Jesus was baptized (Mark 1:9-13), a revelation of God was given. The Spirit descended like a dove on Jesus, and the voice from heaven proclaimed the Father’s approval of Jesus as his divine Son. That Jesus is God’s divine Son is the foundation for all we read about Jesus in the Gospels. Here we see all three members of the Trinity together—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. To believe in the Holy Spirit, although we cannot see Him, is to believe that there is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it.
The Spirit-filled life is no deep mystery revealed to just a few, not something that is difficult to attain. We are reminded that the Holy Spirit is always with us in that wonderful hymn ‘Trust and Obey’ by John Henry Sammis: “When we walk with the Lord in the light of His word, what a glory he sheds on our way! While we do His good will He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey.”
Have a good week, Pastor Ron
Optional Bible reading: John Chapter 14.
This is one of a series of weekly messages of encouragement, now in its twenty-sixth year, originating from Gympie, Fraser Coast, Queensland, Australia. A companion Bible study page is available each week. To subscribe via email here with the words ‘Subscribe Word (or) Subscribe Word & Study’. Our ministry is free and emailing lists are confidential. Tell a friend or why not put a note in your church newsletter or pew sheet about this ministry – we welcome new subscriptions.Pastor Ron Clarke OAMWord for the WeekMbl.: +61 488 424 321