Today, we discuss the MYSTICAL part of Christianity: Sensing the Spirit of God. How do we know it’s Him?
24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes into ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
The whole point of the cross was for us to become mobile temples of the living God! God wanted to be IN us and not just with us. Really, it’s an even better deal than Adam and Eve had. Think of it: “Christ in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27b).” By the way, the first part of this verse tells us about the MYSTICAL part: “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
The mystery of the presence of Christ in us is no secret. God had it in mind all along; it was implemented through Jesus Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. Let’s look at the process.
In the Old Testament, the Spirit came upon a person (Samson, David, Elijah, etc) like a cloak. He could leave a person in the same way (Samson, Saul). Isaiah heard God’s voice as if it were over his shoulder, “and you will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” Isaiah 30:21. We hear His voice much the same way (as if over the shoulder), but NOW His voice comes from inside us. In the words of Jimmy Cox, “I hear His voice as if He is talking over my shoulder, but it’s louder than that.” Why? Because His voice is coming from INSIDE him! and US!!!
Why the Holy Spirit? He is the third part of the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Here is what Jesus said about Him, “Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men [that’s BIG!], but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” Matthew 12:31-32 Why not? Because the Holy Spirit is our seal of salvation (Ephesians 1:13). In fact, His presence in our lives IS OUR SALVATION! If we refuse His offer to come in and live in our hearts, then we can have no salvation.
Another aspect of the Spirit and how He talks to us is the Bible. 12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12. If we want God to work in our lives and be real to us, then we will read and implement His Word in our lives. When? Everyday! We would do well to do it several times a day through note cards, texts, memorization, speaking it to each other, etc.
One of the things that King David learned was to wait on the LORD. We often get in a hurry; the Holy Spirit waits for us to calm down before speaking to us. It’s a way for us to remember WHO is in charge of our lives!
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
What are we waiting for? Let’s look back into the psalm and see:
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart [His Spirit] says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
David knew the secret to accessing the Spirit: He was still and quiet. He calmed His Spirit, which could be quite exuberant or anxious, and allowed the Holy Spirit to come upon him like an ointment (see psalm 133). It is when we are quiet and calm that we receive His guidance. We draw near to Him in mind and attitude; He draws us to Himself and moves us along in the way we should go. It’s a beautiful thing.
Here are some of my favorite verses that show how the Holy Spirit works in our lives:
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory [to be with You]. Psalm 139:23-24
21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit [may we all be carried along by the Spirit!]. 2 Peter 1:21
These promises of Jesus cinch it for us:
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
THESE ARE THE VERY WORDS OF CHRIST! We can trust Him to walk with us and speak to us even as we have trusted Him for salvation.
Let’s finish with one more promise:
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power [through His Spirit] that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
Abba, thank You that You counsel me from within. Your Presence makes life worth living! To hear Your voice within me, to receive Your “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16) is exciting to me. It makes me ALIVE! May I always approach You with fear and trembling, but also with confidence and excitement (see Hebrews 4:14-16). I look forward to walking through this day with You. Amen.