Tag Archives: Acts 1:8

Who is the Holy Spirit?


Perhaps you know you’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit. If so you know the power and freedom that comes from resting from your own works and letting the Spirit guide you. You know the peace that replaces your anxiety and worry. Instead of exhaustion and frustration you’ve found fulfillment and contentment. Instead of dealing with pain and disappointment by yourself, the Spirit comforts you and reminds you, “You are not alone.”


We’ve mentioned before that the Spirit is a real and divine being who is part of the three-part God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All who confess their sins and ask Jesus into their lives are given the Holy Spirit. The question is what do we do with Him? Like Jesus, he will not force himself on us. Oh, but if we seek to develop our relationship with him, he will penetrate every aspect of our lives, including our personality!


Maybe  you’ve thought the Holy Spirit was the same as emotional worship. But no, he is much more. He has a will and intelligence, feelings, and desires, same as you and me. He is the key player in you becoming “a new creation.” When we invite him to search the depths of our heart, he is able to reveal to us things we do not see in ourselves. Not only that, but he gives us perfect guidance for every situation. The Holy Spirit provides real power for victorious living, succeeding to win battles we’ve never won on our own. Acts 1:8 says “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” Ask yourself, “Am I living a life of victorious power or a life of one defeat after another?” Because he is deity he gives us access to the wisdom from above. He interprets our prayers when all we can utter is groans. Because he is just like  Jesus, we can get to know the Spirit by knowing Jesus, as revealed in scripture.


Knowing who the Spirit is gives us understanding, but it isn’t the same as experiencing his power and grace. It is one thing to have a promise and quite another when that promise is fulfilled.


Jesus said, “I am sending you something better.” Better? What could be better than Jesus with us? Jesus IN us. How else could Jesus dwell in each of us but by sending his perfect Spirit who is our only hope? (Colossians 1:27) We don’t need to prove Jesus with debates. All we need to do is let his Spirit speak to us, respond, and his light of truth will shine in and through you.


This  is indeed something quite better. Beyond having thoughts of Jesus as our guide and life model, Jesus realized we needed to experience his resurrection power and truth first hand. And he accomplished this by sending us his Holy Spirit to live in us; so we could be filled to the fullest of all Jesus is – his love and joy, his suffering and grief, and the wisdom and power to live victoriously as God intended us to live.


Meditate on this and how being filled with the Spirit would revolutionize your life. Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to be filled with the Holy Spirit.


Doubt and fear in the presence of faith

Do you sometimes struggle with fear and doubt? Even when you hold on to your faith, do you find questions keep rising to confront you?  John Stumbo shares some insights into the aspect of doubt in the presence of faith as he reflects on the story in John 20 when Jesus appears to Thomas:


“I’m intrigued by this because of what I find just eight days later. John 20, verse 26. “Eight days later his disciples were in the house again. Thomas was with them.” And you know the story. Thomas hadn’t been with them the first time and had doubted the whole story. “Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’”


Here is my simple point. Why if they had understood that the Spirit who had raised Christ from the dead was now, had now been given to them, why were they still huddling behind locked doors? I don’t think they yet had fully understood what Christ was doing and bringing to them. If they understood the presence and power of the Spirit, the breath of God that had been breathed upon them, they would have not still been huddling in fear.


Maybe you will disagree with my understanding of this historical account, or maybe you think I am being too hard on the early apostles. Let’s leave them for a moment, and let me ask us: are we still huddling in some locked place of fear, not fully understanding or experiencing that which the Spirit of God wants to grant to us and do in us?


You have not been given a spirit of timidity or fear, my son, Timothy. You have been given a spirit of power to do that which you would otherwise not be able to do, a spirit of love to care about other people, to care about people you would not otherwise care about, the spirit of self-discipline to say no to things that would otherwise control you.”


I’m aware that I have led too much of my life in those locked, seemingly safe kind of places with the disciples, but increasingly in my life, I’m desiring to be open to all that the Spirit has for me—to send me where He would send me, to do in me what He wants to do in me, to reveal Christ through me in an increasing measure.” (Stumbo)


As you reflect on John’s words, ask the Spirit of God to reveal to you areas of your life that have been hidden behind locked doors and surrounded by fear and doubt. Read Acts 1:8 and ask God to open those doors and to be empowered by His Spirit and commissioned to His purpose in reaching and encouraging others in His name.