John 14:15-17 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you…”
I am starting a blog series on the fruit of the Spirit. First, let’s take a look at who exactly the Holy Spirit is. Jesus told His disciples that He would leave this world, but would not leave them alone. He was leaving them the Holy Spirit, a “Helper”, to be with us always. So what exactly does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit and how can you know if you have Him in you?
In the letter Paul wrote to the Galatians, he urges the reader to realize how crucial it is to walk with the Spirit. This tells me that he, indeed, received the Holy Spirit, and knows how important He is to us followers of Jesus. The Holy spirit guides what we say (Luke 12:12), teaches us (John 14:26), gives us power to witness (Acts 1:8), comforts us (Acts 9:31), puts God’s love in our heart (Romans 5:5), and gives us hope (Romans 15:13).
As humans, we find it so challenging to understand things we cannot see. The Holy Spirit is a being we cannot see, but only feel. So, I will share my experience with the Holy Spirit and hopefully that helps you to understand if you have His presence in your heart. And if you don’t feel His presence, we can address that as well.
My first memorable experience with the Holy Spirit was when I was saved. I was standing in a church I’d never gone to before. Divorced, alone, broken-hearted, and my daughter was with her father for the weekend. I couldn’t understand how my life had gotten to this point. I was a broken woman at 27-years old. The worship team started singing “Holy Spirit (You are Welcome Here)”, and I was so moved. I couldn’t stop the tears streaming down my face. I remember thinking, Yes, You are welcome. Please come into my heart.
And that’s when it happened. I felt this overwhelming sense of a presence inside me. It was like I finally understood what God meant in John 3:16. His love; it’s immeasurable. I had been struggling with the question, How could God possibly love me after all I’ve done? The answer was clear. It doesn’t matter how. He just does. And I FELT that. The tears began pouring! A couple weeks later I was Baptized and the rest is history. Has life been perfect since? Have I always made the right decisions? Absolutely not. But, when I have made bad decisions, it was clear that I was doing wrong. It’s like receiving the Holy Spirit amplifies your conscience. He aligns your heart with what is good and what is sin in God’s eyes.
Since this experience, I kept feeling this pull, which you will often see described as what the Holy Spirit does. He literally tugs at your heart, guiding you. At least in my case. He was telling me I gave up on my marriage too soon and that I still was married in God’s eyes. Guys, I fought this for a while. Because it’s not easy to admit you screwed up, and it’s not easy to suck up your pride and do the right thing sometimes! But we did end up reconciling and now we have another beautiful blessing of a daughter and are working every day toward a God-pleasing marriage.
Anyway, back to this pull. Let’s look at John 16:13. In this verse, Jesus is telling His disciples that He will be leaving soon and He will not leave them alone, but will leave them with the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. This is so convicting to me. Back in John 16:8 – And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment…
He will convict the world concerning sin. These words are so powerful to me. Because that’s exactly what happened to me. Every little sin I committed, I was so painfully aware of it. And now, years later, it seems like He’s refining me. I still have great sin in my life, as most of us do. It’s a constant battle. But the “better” I get, the more convicted I am of the small sins (if there is such a thing). It used to be the big issues that got me convicted, like sex out of wedlock, lying. You know, the “big” ones! But now, if I use the wrong tone with my husband, my impure thoughts, if I have a little cleavage showing…These things that used to be small to me now break my heart!
This is what I feel the Holy Spirit does. In my experience, it’s like He’s refining us like a fine silver or gold. He puts in all this effort, constantly showing us our wrongs, making us Holy. I am so grateful for His work. Without Him, we would all indeed be lost sheep. So if all of this sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, how do you get the Spirit into your life? If you have been saved, Jesus says the Holy Spirit is already with you. John 14:23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Prayer is the key. Ask the Father to make you aware of the Holy Spirit, ask for His guidance. Also, pay attention to your convictions. What things are you really convicted in? The Holy Spirit makes you aware of sin, so it could be He is telling you your wrongs, but perhaps you aren’t attuned to it.
Over the next few weeks, we will be going over the character traits found in Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. In each blog post we will go through one trait at a time, deciphering what exactly each one means and how you can apply this to your life.
Make sure you sign up for email updates so you get notified of each new post. Thanks for reading and God bless!
Love in Christ,