In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2). But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26).
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8).
And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 11:16).
Part of the reason that I’m writing these devotionals is because I am convinced that how we see God affects how we see everything. And, when it comes to the Holy Spirit, confusion abounds. In English, he receives the definite article, “the,” in front of his name. This has allowed us to implicitly believe that he is not a he at all, but an it. But this is not true. The Holy Spirit is a Person, the third person of the Triune Godhead. And his ministry to us is absolutely amazing.
The Holy Spirit is powerful. So powerful, in fact, that all the universe was made through him. Imagine the Trinitarian scene at the dawn of time: The Father speaks, the Word creates all things, and the Spirit sings the song of creation into being. The word for “hovering,” in Genesis 3 is related to musical terms related to singing. Other related words include brooding, and fluttering, like a mother bird does over her offspring. However we think about it, the Spirit of God was there, bringing creation forth.
The power of the Holy Spirit is a subject of considerable wonder, especially given the fact that he has now come to dwell in the hearts and lives of believers. Jesus promised that after he left, he would give us a gift. Remarkably, Jesus said it was better than even having Jesus with us! What was the gift? Well, the gift wasn’t a what, but a who. The gift is the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’s promise in this passage is the greatest news. And, if we get it, then we can go from experiencing unquenched thirst to unstoppable rivers of grace in your life. Because God is spirit, he is not confined to some space or person. God the Spirit means that all of us can experience the personal touch and power of God almighty. Christ had a body, but the Holy Spirit does not. That means that he can dwell in us! Why? To remind us of everything that Jesus taught us. The promise of the gospel comes true in God the Holy Spirit—God is dwelling with his people.
But maybe this doesn’t sound like good news to you. Perhaps the idea of God living within you, reminding you of the words of Jesus sounds unattractive. Couldn’t this just be God’s way of nagging his people? Who wants someone to tell them all the rules they’re breaking all the time. But of course that’s not all he does. The Spirit delights to draw our minds and hearts to Jesus, but not to feel failure. He does still more. He empowers us to serve him, and changes us to look more like him. The Holy Spirit is the person of God dwelling with us on the inside to make us look more like Jesus on the outside.
We can be baptized—completely immersed in and filled with—the Holy Spirit. God has given us himself, not only to save us, but to dwell with us. Today, go and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. Ask him to baptize you. Ask him to change you, fill you, and empower you. Then, go and pour yourself out for the world around you. Once empty, you can return and ask again. For, the Spirit never, ever runs dry.