Are ghosts real? There comes a point where theory stops working and collides with reality and forces a new perspective. That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in to this story. He is the third part of the Trinity. God, we assume, stays in heaven. Jesus visited earth for a time, but then went back to heaven. And that was 2,000 years ago. The Holy Spirit invades our world, our lives, our assumptions. And we sometimes find it strange.
We pray to God for help with problems in our physical lives (healing for our bodies, good jobs, nice friends), yet we often struggle to recognize that the spiritual world is a reality.
And this is a disconcerting list of the Holy Spirit’s characteristics, taken from the Nazarene Articles of Faith:
- ever-present:able to see our best and worst moments, how we respond to others
- efficiently active in and with the Church of Christ: the Holy Spirit not only works on me as an individual, but in all those who believe in Jesus – He connects us. He is working towards a plan, and we are part of that plan.
- convincing the world of sin: it takes light to see, and the Holy Spirit is beginning to open the curtains for people to see where they stand in life. And the situation is not pretty. People do not want to see that.
I am still examining what the Bible says, and how the Holy Spirit is presented, but I suspect that reality is stronger than how we like to phrase it in theology texts. I was reading Romans 8 today and was struck by the dramatic change that the Spirit prompts in our lives: we gain a completely different perspective; God adopts us as children; and our lives are no longer aimed towards death, but towards glory. What would it be like to live in that reality?
God, the Holy Spirit makes me uncomfortable because You aren’t a theory anymore. You aren’t just the Creator or Lord of the Israelites or learned Rabbi of the Jews; You’re a very present reality in my world, my life, my day. And I fight You every day because I do not want to see how limited my control of life actually is. So thank You for a reminder of how fragile life is, and how limited I am. Thank You for reminding me of Your power, and Your desire to lead me to a better life, a better reality. Please help me to see You. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit at work in me. Amen.