Have you ever wondered who the Holy Spirit really is, and what role He plays in your daily walk with the Lord? Keep reading to learn about 3 ways the Holy Spirit works in your life.
Who Is The Holy Spirit?
I have to admit, I used to struggle with understanding the identity and role of the Holy Spirit in my life, once I became a Christian.
I wasn’t sure if the Holy Spirit was a person or a presence and, because of my uncertainty, I was self-conscious when having conversations about Him with others.
I can definitely relate to the new believers that Paul encountered in Ephesus:
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them.
“No,” they replied. “We haven’t even heard there is a Holy Spirit.”
-Acts 19: 2-3
Yes, that was me in the early (and not-so-early) days of my walk with God. I didn’t have a clue.
In John 14, Jesus comforts the disciples as He prepares to leave them, by promising them the Holy Spirit
If you love me, obey my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
-John 14: 15-17
Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as
- He, signifying that He is a person, not just a presence or a force
- Our Advocate
- There to lead us into all truth
There are so many more verses that speak to who the Holy Spirit is. However, let’s dive deeper into the Holy Spirit’s role is in our lives as believers.
How The Holy Spirit Works In Your Life
When I think about my life before Jesus and since I began a relationship with God through Him, I am reminded of countless situations that I was either led to or away from, not even realizing that the Holy Spirit was at work.
Here are 3 ways that I have discovered that the Holy Spirit works in my life, and in yours, too!
Paul talks about the Holy Spirit as a guide in Galatians:
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.
Paul goes on to say that our sinful nature and the Spirit are constantly at odds, which often makes it difficult for us to do the good that we intend to do.
One of my biggest struggles is a tendency to neglect the productive, purposeful, Spirit-guided things I need to do, choosing instead to surf the Internet and social media.
I admit it. I love the Internet. Blogs, YouTube videos, Facebook groups, Pinterest, Google. You name it, I am all for it.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with discovering new things and people through the Internet, it can quickly become an idol (Galatians 5:19-21) and lead us down a scary path of addictive behavior.
Whenever I am neglecting time with God, health, relationships, and being productive for an Internet binge, I can say with certainty that the Holy Spirit always shows up to guide me in a different direction.
However, one of the most important things to remember about the Holy Spirit’s guidance is that we have the freedom to choose whether or not to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Neither God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit forces us to do anything. We always have the choice to either follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, or to follow our own desires.
It is my prayer that choosing to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit will become second nature in our lives.
In Romans 8, Paul talks about living life in the Spirit. He speaks more about the sinful nature and how following it leads to death.
What I love most is that Paul acknowledges that, as humans with a sinful nature, we are very weak and need help when it comes to yielding to the Holy Spirit:
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
-Romans 8: 26-27
Paul’s example of prayer is a exactly where I tend to need the Holy Spirit’s help the most.
I admit that I sometimes get so overwhelmed with all of the things I want to pray for that I become paralyzed in my prayer life, which can lead to not praying at all.
Can you relate to this?
When I submit to the Holy Spirit, admitting that I just don’t know what to pray, I am able to freely communicate my desires and prayers to God.
I wrote a previous post about how to thrive while waiting for God, where I discussed how we can use our gifts from the Holy Spirit as we wait for God’s purposes to be revealed in our lives.
It is truly amazing that, in addition to the Holy Spirit Himself being a gift from God to us, the Holy Spirit is also a giver of gifts to believers.
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
-1 Corinthians 12: 7-11
A few important takeaways from this passage:
- The purpose of these gifts is to use them to help others, not to elevate myself above others.
- The Holy Spirit (not us!) decides who receives which gifts. This should eliminate any jealousy or boasting when it comes to using your gifts.
I love this article on spiritual gifts, as it goes into further detail about how to determine what your spiritual gifts are and the proper way to use them to further God’s kingdom.
How Does The Holy Spirit Work In Your Life?
I find so much comfort in knowing that I have a companion in the Holy Spirit, who guides me in my daily walk with the Lord; helps me in my weakness; and gifts me so that I can be a blessing to others.
Can you think of any other ways the Holy Spirit operates in your life? Please share in the comments below!