I had just moved into a town house in a new city. It was not a good time in my life – just my dog Mickey and I starting over after a long relationship suddenly ended. Four days into unpacking boxes and adjusting to this new reality, I parked in my drive to find landscapers left my back gate open.
I instantly knew Mickey was gone. He was a runner and couldn’t resist wandering off. I drove around for hours along with a friend – each in opposite directions until the sun set. There was nothing more we could do. I was devastated.
All sorts of horrible thoughts drifted through my mind. Thoughts like:
- He’s lost in a new city.
- He couldn’t know his way back as we’d been there less than a week.
- He’s been run over, hurt, stolen.
- I’ll never see Mickey again.
Many tears were shed. I had all ready lost so much – I couldn’t bear to lose my dog too.
Around 10 pm, I headed upstairs and climbed into bed. I was exhausted, but I knew I wouldn’t sleep. I believed in God, was saved, but wasn’t really living my life as a born again Christian. But something inside prompted me to begin to speak out loud what I wanted to happen. I asked the Lord to bring my dog home, and then I began to declare how.
“God, please bring Mickey home. Let him walk through the open gate and burst through the dog door. Let me hear the jingle of the nametag against his collar. Let Mickey come flying upstairs safe. He will jump on my bed. I will hug him and hold him tight. He will be covered in red mud, but I will not care. Thank you God for bringing Mickey home.”
I said this loudly between wiping tears and blowing my nose. I was praying without ceasing for the first time in my life. I was heartbroken and needed a miracle.
About 11:30 pm, I was barely awake but still mumbling my prayer when I heard a man whistling (the way you would to get a dog to come to you). Faint at first, the sound got louder and louder. I sat up confused why I was hearing a man outside my second story window. But just as soon as I did, Mickey burst through the dog door, flew up the stairs with the tag jingling and jumped into my arms covered head to toe in mud! It was the manifestation of my prayer!
But who was whistling? I ran downstairs out the front door. No one. There had to be a man. I opened the back door to find nothing but the open gate. I knew the whistling was not my imagination – I heard it, but no one was there to be found.
I gave Mickey a bath when it dawned on me I had a supernatural encounter. I had not heard a man, but for the first time heard the Holy Spirit. It was by His power my prayer was answered.
Interestingly enough His whistle comforted me and gave me hope. In that moment I felt I wasn’t alone and like someone was listening and responding to my fear and pain.
Right there on the floor of my bathroom, I began to thank God for what had happened. I was moved and desired to know more. The Holy Spirit had met me where I was at and blessed me abundantly.
I knew things about Jesus and God. I had sat in Bible Church long enough to grasp them as two very distinct parts of the Godhead; however, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the Holy Spirit. Just the words “Spirit” or “Ghost” caused confusion for me – I had the “Casper the friendly ghost” view of Him rather than understanding His place as the third person in the Godhead.
I think many can identify with me as the enemy has done a great job of perverting our perceptions of the Holy Spirit reducing Him to merely a “symbol” and not a living entity. In fact, the Christian Post* reported
58% of all U.S. Christians believe the Holy Spirit is nothing more than a symbolic reference to God’s power or presence.
The Barna Research Group** conducted a study of 1,871 people from across the 48 continental states and found most Christians don’t think the Holy Sprit is a living force. George Barna, Barna Group founder and book author commented, “Most Americans, even those who say they are Christians, have doubts about the intrusion of the supernatural into the natural world.”
Even more disturbing is that 47% of those who agreed the Holy Ghost is only a symbol also agreed the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles, even though the Word clearly describes the Holy Spirit in great detail.
Do you see the problem here? Satan has successful discredited the Word of God to the point deceived Christians are picking and choosing parts of the Bible to fit nicely into their idea of life. If it doesn’t feel good or make sense… throw it out.
It’s actually pretty ridiculous when you stop and think about it. We love it when our pastors preach about how much God loves us, but when they dive into anything that goes beyond our comfort zone, we shut down, stop listening and judge them harshly. We’ve become a feel good society and will reject anything that threatens it.
The Holy Spirit has gotten a bad rap, and it is time that we as Christians realize that He is an important and vital part of the trinity… of the Godhead.
The Holy Spirit is alive! When we give our lives to Christ and are born again, the Holy Ghost breathes life into us. He dwells in us and works through us. He is the way we can be conformed into the image of Christ, because apart from His power, we are able to accomplish nothing good. His work is to bring each of us into a deeply personal relationship with Jesus so we can have access to our Heavenly Father.
It time to wake up! If we believe the Bible is true, then we must see the Holy Spirit as more than a symbol. He is the power by which we are healed, delivered and set free. He is the voice guiding us, protecting us and comforting us. The Holy Spirit tends to all our pains, brokenness and sorrows.
Jesus was led by the Spirit to face 40 days of temptation. The Spirit empowered Jesus to be the sinless man, as Jesus Christ did nothing apart from what He was told to do. The Heavenly Father was able to speak with His Son through the Spirit with in Him after He was baptized. If the Holy Spirit can do all that for Jesus, consider what the Spirit can do for you?
Jesus understood the power of the Holy Ghost and promised to send the Holy Spirit in His place. “If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever.” (John 14:15-16) That helper is the Spirit of Truth.
Jesus goes on to say that the Holy Spirit will live with us and will be in us. Is this not irrefutable proof the Holy Spirit is more than a symbol?
Jesus relied on the Spirit when He walked this earth, and we must follow His example. We must continually welcome and embrace the Holy Spirit into our lives, be thankful for His presence and surrender control over to Him.
If you invite Him into your heart on a daily basis, here are some of the amazing things the Holy Spirit will do in your life:
- Speaks to you (Acts 8:29, 11:12, 13:12)
- Imparts eternal life (Rom 8:10, 14)
- Sanctifies you (1 Peter 1:2)
- Comforts you (John 14:15, 2 Corinthians 1:4)
- Bring you peace (John 14:27)
- Empowers you with gifts (Acts 20:28)
- Guides and leads you in your everyday life (John 16, Rom 8:14)
- Convicts you of sin (John16:8)
- Shapes and molds you into the image of Christ (Roman 8:1-17)
- Helps you pray to the Father (Romans 8:26)
- Assists you in understanding the Word of God (Hebrews 4:2)
- Testifies about who Jesus is (John 15:26)
- Prevents you from going somewhere or doing something (Acts 16:5-7)
If you are sick, hurting, financially strapped or struggling in significant relationships, it is time to realize you are in a spiritual battle, and it must be fought by spiritual means. You cannot defeat Satan on your own.
The good news is you’ve got a champion living inside you – the Helper. Jesus said we would be enabled to do even greater works than He did (John 14:12-14). If you are waiting for a miracle, desperate for a prayer to be answered, consider God may be waiting on you to trust that Heaven comes to earth by our union with the Father and Son through the Holy Spirit.
For all the skeptics and close-minded folks out there, the Holy Spirit occupies a lot of space in the Word. In fact, there are 38 unique names for the Holy Spirit in scripture. Be encouraged to go through the Bible and get to know the person that is the Holy Spirit. This revelation will change your life and help you access your God-given gifts.
Who couldn’t use a little more joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, happiness and love in their life? God’s ultimate goal is for us to be so filled with the Holy Spirit’s fruit we continually pour the goodness onto others.
Refuse to let Satan keep you and others from tasting and seeing that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of enjoying a fulfilling relationship with the Holy Spirit. If you are ready, repeat loudly the following prayer:
Father God, I love you. You are worthy of all thanks and praise. Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice and victory over all evil. Father I ask forgiveness for believing lies about the Holy Spirit and ask to receive the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit may your presence in my life be like air I breath. I need you to guide me, comfort me, lead me, protect me and teach me so that my life would reflect the glory of God. Thank you for the good fruit that you give me as a free gift. Assist me to stay keenly aware of your presence every second of the day. May my life be filled with your power to combat evil and overcome sin so that I may be conformed into the image of Christ. I desire more of your goodness, seek the abundant blessings you’ve planned for me and want to feel more of your love. I thank you I have not been given spirits of fear, but I have been given spirits of power, love and a sound mind. It is only through you Holy Spirit that I can know Jesus Christ and access the Father. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your baptism and the gentle way you work in me to transform me so that I may live out God’s plan for my life. I pray for more – May Heaven invade earth and miracles abound. In Jesus might name, Amen and Amen.
Questions to take you further:
- Have you believed the lie that the Holy Spirit has no place in today’s Christian life? If so, repent, seek forgiveness and ask to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life.
- What ways do you see the Holy Spirit is or could be working in your life?
- How different would your life look if you allowed the Holy Spirit to flow through you and out of you?
- What are your spiritual gifts and how are you using them in your life?
* Most U.S. Christians Don’t Believe Satan, Holy Spirit Exist by Jennifer Riley, Christian Post Reporter, April 13, 2009
* Research Study Conclusions found at barna.org