John 16:7-8 (TPT)
“But here’s the truth: It’s to your advantage that I go away, for if I don’t go away the Divine Encourager will not be released to you. But after I depart, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will expose sin and prove that the world is wrong about God’s righteousness and his judgments.”
Jesus delivered a lot of difficult messages to His disciples in the weeks leading up to His crucifixion. While He knew that the end was coming, He also realized that His resurrection was a guarantee.
Instead of looking at things through the flesh, He was operating in the spiritual realm. That didn’t make these words that He spoke to them any easier to understand.
How could anything be better for them than getting to physically walk and talk with Christ?
We often think about the lives of the disciples and wonder what it would have been like to be able to walk up to Jesus and have a conversation.
When they sailed their boats across the Sea of Galilee, He was with them. When they woke up in the mornings, ready to set off to the next town on His divine itinerary, He was with them. When they sat down for dinner, He was there.
They had access to Emmanuel, God with Us, each and every day. Wouldn’t that have been exciting? We have the same promise, even if we don’t have Christ in His tangible form walking along with us.
Instead, we have the Holy Spirit living in us, and according to Christ, that’s to our advantage. While Christ walked with the disciples, the Holy Spirit lives inside believers today. This promise came to fruition in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost.
However, as is the case with any relationship, it’s up to us to nurture the relationship that we have with the Holy Spirit.
Simply acknowledging that the Holy Spirit lives in you isn’t enough. Instead, it’s important that you look for ways to take that relationship to a deeper level.
Today, if you want to experience a more meaningful, more intimate connection with the Holy Spirit, apply these principles found in Scripture.
Knowing Who He Is
1 Corinthians 12:11 (NIV)
All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Every relationship in your life depends on you knowing the other person. Take a moment and think about the most important relationships in your life. If you’re married, it’s important that you know as much about your spouse as possible.
If you’re involved romantically with someone you aren’t married to, you still want to know more about them, their likes, their dislikes, and more. One of the most important aspects of having strong, thriving friendships is to truly know the people whom you consider friends.
Your relationship with the Holy Spirit is no different.
In order for us to truly experience a deeper, more meaningful relationship with the Holy Spirit, we must start by knowing who He is. This begins by overcoming a seemingly simple cultural norm: The Holy Spirit is a “He” not an “It.”
Over the years, it has become accepted to refer to the Holy Spirit (sometimes referred to as the Holy Ghost) as an “It” as if He is some sort of inanimate object. That’s not the case. He is actively always working in the lives of believers.
According to Scripture, the Holy Spirit is also a Teacher (John 14:26), an Encourager (John 16:7), the Source of Wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), the Giver of Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11), and an Intercessor (Romans 8:26-27).
The Holy Spirit is God with Us in the same way that Christ was God with Us. The only difference is that instead of living with us as Christ did with the disciples, the Holy Spirit lives in us, filling us with the type of power that Christ carried.
Being Filled with the Spirit
Ephesians 5:17-18 (NIV)
And don’t live foolishly for then you will have discernment to fully understand God’s will. And don’t get drunk with wine, which is rebellion; instead be filled continually with the Holy Spirit.
While today’s study isn’t about the use of alcohol, it’s important to note that Paul focused on the contrast between being “drunk with wine” and being “filled continually with the Holy Spirit.”
When a person consumes too much alcohol, he or she loses control. They say and do things they wouldn’t say and do if they were sober. While that is obviously not a good thing, Paul speaks to the importance of being “continually filled with the Holy Spirit.”
While being drunk doesn’t produce anything good, being filled with the Holy Spirit produces nothing but good things. However, the two ideas are not completely opposite, as when we fully submit ourselves to His leadership, the Holy Spirit causes us to say and do things that don’t align with what our flesh would typically do.
Unlike alcohol, that’s always a good thing.
When we are truly filled with the Holy Spirit, He becomes the driving force in our lives. He prompts us to respond to situations the same way that Christ would. He helps us to better understand the Word of God, and He encourages us when we feel frustrated.
Experiencing a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit is all about fully embracing His role as the primary authority in your life.
Paul also points to the fact that being filled with the Spirit is not a one-time event. Depending on your denominational background, you may have heard people preach and teach about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a one-time experience.
That’s not the way that Paul described it in this passage. Instead, we should constantly look to be filled with the Spirit over and over again.
The Source of Connection
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In the original Greek in which Paul wrote this letter to Timothy in, the term “God-breathed” is translated “pneuma.” As the term was translated over the years, it’s also where we get the English term “Holy Spirit.”
That means that the Holy Spirit divinely inspired every man and woman who penned a single word of Scripture to write the words that we read today. With that in mind, Scripture is the most powerful method of connecting with the Holy Spirit on a deeper level.
Every word that is found in your Bible went through the Holy Spirit into the authors who wrote it. If you want to know more about the Holy Spirit, read the words that He inspired the Biblical authors to write.
As we’ve already established, He is the Source of Wisdom. That means that He will help you understand the words that you read so you can be “thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
God makes Himself known through Scripture. Since the Holy Spirit is God living inside us, we can become more intimately familiar with Him through the Bible.
A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit living inside me. Help me to live a life that is worthy of His presence. I submit my life to His authority, God. Fill me with Your presence through the Holy Spirit so I can bear the fruits that You want me to bear.
Help me to understand Your Word that He inspired so I can be fully equipped for the works that You have for me. In Christ’s name, Amen.