How Can We Know the Holy Spirit?

by Martha Nelson

Last month we talked about who the Holy Spirit is. We concluded that He was not an "it" or an influence. Instead, we saw that He is a Person, and is referred to as a person by Jesus in the Bible (John 14:26). We also saw that, because the Holy Spirit is part of God, He will have the same pure and gentle nature that God has. He will have the same gentlemanly qualities of God's Son, Jesus--who never forced himself upon anyone.

We also saw that God made us in His image so that we could have fellowship with Him. God wanted us to be His friends. He created each of us with a spirit--and the purpose of our spirit is to allow us to communicate with God through His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can also help us pray (Rom. 8:26). So is it possible to know the Holy Spirit just as we would another person? If so, how do we go about it?

Understanding the Holy Spirit

First of all, if you'd like to know more about the Holy Spirit, why not begin reading the Bible to see what it says about Him? Study verses that describe his nature and what He has done.

For example, in Genesis Chapter 1 we see that the Holy Spirit existed before the creation of the earth. As the heavens and earth were created, "the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters" (V. 2b).

The Holy Spirit also existed before man was created--and therefore before you and I were born. In Psalm 139 we read, "For thou didn't form my inward parts, thou didn't knit me together in my mother's frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret....Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." (Vs. 13-16). Because the Holy Spirit was there before we were born--and somehow mysteriously participated in the creation of even our own beings--He can understand and counsel us better than any human friend.

The Spirit of God is also present everywhere. In this same Bible chapter the psalmist sensed that no matter where he was, God's Spirit was there (Psalm 139:7-12). He's there with us in the good times and the bad--through all the scrapes of everyday life--for every need we face.

Each of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) also has numerous references to the Holy Spirit. You may want to make a list of His characteristics as you discover them for yourself in the Bible.

Talking to a Friend

A second way to come to know the Holy Spirit is to begin treating him like a person. Begin talking to Him as you would to a dear friend--in your thoughts throughout the day, and in your prayer times. He really is alive, and He really is listening to what you say!

A third important step is to not only speak to the Holy Spirit as a person--but learn to listen! Isn't that what's important in any relationship? Ask Him to speak to you, and listen for His quiet voice speaking through your conscience. Obey your conscience when you feel you should not do a thing. Obey your conscience also when you feel you should do a good or honest thing. Remember, the Holy Spirit will always direct you to live the way Jesus did, so you needn't fear His direction.

As you begin to seek out His friendship, the Holy Spirit will become more real to you. As you study the Bible, you'll also see that the Holy Spirit is meant to actually live INSIDE of us. Yes, incredible as it sounds, our bodies are described in the Bible as "temples of the Holy Spirit" (I Corinthians 3:16, 6:19).

What does this mean, and how does the Holy Spirit come to live inside us permanently? Let's talk about that next month.

What is God Like?

Do you think there's anyone behind that sky? Is there any being way beyond the clouds and the planets--anyone out there that is responsible for us being here?

This booklet from CCI describes how even Einstein said, "My religion consists of a humble adoration of the illimitable Spirit who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds."

Click here to read "What is God Like?"

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