The Empowering Presence of the Holy Spirit
One of Christianity’s fundamental beliefs is that there is one God, who is triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each Person of the Trinity has unique functions, and interacts with us in particular ways.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is one that cannot be overstated. It is the Holy Spirit who draws us to Jesus by convicting us of sin and convincing us that we need a Savior. It is the Holy Spirit who dwells in us when we put our faith in Jesus Christ. And it is the Holy Spirit who fills us, leads us, and empowers us each day as we yield to Him.
Reducing the ministry of the Holy Spirit to a particular denomination or movement (Pentecostals and Charismatics, for example) causes a person to miss the relational work of the Holy Spirit in one’s own life.
Jesus emphasized the role of the Holy Spirit in two ways. First of all, Jesus Himself was filled with, led by, and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1, 14). In a single chapter, Matthew highlights three ways the Holy Spirit was evident in Jesus’ life and ministry (Matthew 12):
- Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit. “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.” (v. 18)
- Jesus’ miracles were the result of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (v. 28)
- Jesus considered the Person and work of the Holy Spirit to be essential, not optional. “And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (v. 32)
In addition to His own need for the Holy Spirit, Jesus strongly exhorted His followers to be baptized with (filled with) the Holy Spirit, and to allow the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, teach, and empower them. John’s gospel takes several chapters (13-16) to share Jesus’ last words to His disciples, in which the role of the Holy Spirit is repeatedly and significantly emphasized.
To the degree that you open yourself to the fullness of God’s Spirit, you will be empowered to live the life He has destined for you. A Spirit-filled person is not only fulfilled, he or she impacts the world.
A Prayer for Spirit-fullness
Jesus, thank You for saving me by giving Your life for me. From Your example and from Your word, I realize my need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I ask You now, in faith and expectancy: Will You fill me today with Your Spirit? I know You will, beacuse You said, “Ask and you shall receive.”
Holy Spirit, I welcome Your presence, Your leadership, and Your power in my life. Help me to live a life that pleases my Father. Empower me to witness and minister to others about Jesus. Teach me and guide me into truth. I receive every gift You desire to give me, and I commit myself to discipleship and personal growth, bearing the fruit of the Spirit in my daily life.
There is nothing or no one I desire more than You, God. I hunger for You. I thirst for You. My life is Yours in every way.
Today I receive the indwelling, overflowing, empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name! Amen!