The Holy Spirit is a person and wants to be known as a person. We don’t know what we don’t know, and we don’t know the dynamics of how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit relate. We do know that who we truly are, a spirit, DOES know how the aspects of God relate, and so we can have confidence that what the Lord is teaching us is bringing us closer to the complete relationship He wants us to have with every aspect of Himself, as Father, Son, Holy Spirit and His Body. We don’t have to know all the answers or understand Him fully in order to trust Him and have a relationship with Him; God is not touchy or petulant, and is not nearly as concerned with our approach to Him as we often think He is.
We are going to take a very practical approach to expanding our relationship with the Holy Spirit and embracing His activities and gifts. This approach is in no way meant to counter what others may teach, or have experienced. You are free as always to take it or leave it; our purpose here is to share with others what God has shared with us, and what has been tested and found to be objectively true in its practical application.
The Holy Spirit & His Activities
There are numerous teachings available on the Holy Spirit and it is not our intention here to present an exhaustive account of His nature, actions and character. What we want to look at are some practical ways of relating and cooperating with the Holy Spirit with the goal of knowing God.
The Holy Spirit is fully God. Though the word “Trinity” is not found in scriptures, there are definitely references to God as multi-parted. Though we continue to be curious about how God interrelates, we don’t wait for full understanding to accept the level of revelation God has given on this subject as “enough for now.” We know the Holy Spirit is a person, in that He has character, specific attributes, can speak for Himself, move, interact and has all other attributes of personality. So He can be grieved, pleased, patient, persistent, empowering, kind and expectant all at the same time.
As you pursue the knowledge of the Lord, you will experience the Holy Spirit Himself firsthand. For instance, when we speak of the manifestation of the Personal Presence of the Lord, I suspect it is the Holy Spirit that makes the Son and Father real to us on a personal level. What role each aspect of the Godhead plays is not clear, and probably varies, but I know that they “travel together.”
How We Interact With the Spirit
Before Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they communed with God and with each other on a spiritual level: spirit to Spirit. Their spirit dwelt within them and through them, permeating every aspect of their soul (mind, will and emotions) and body. This means that every spiritual aspect available in the Spirit was flowing from Him to each of their spirits, then through their soul and body. Each had the full knowledge, understanding, wisdom, compassion, motivation, power, authority, dominion, strength and ability that was inherent in the Spirit. What we today call the manifestations of gifts of the Spirit was a normal part of their everyday existence.
But once they sought and accepted a knowledge of their own, their spirits died, and they no longer had access to the Life that had been sustaining them from the Spirit. Gone also was that source that enlivened their soulical, supernatural abilities to funnel the spirit nature. Those capabilities either became dormant, misused, or misinterpreted.
Now, as believers, our spirit has been re-born, and that connection with the Holy Spirit is re-established. As He continues His work of bringing our soul and body into completeness, He clears out the once-used conduits of the debris of misuse and repairs the pathways to be able to once again transport His knowledge, power, encouragement, etc. The more we embrace the Holy Spirit in this endeavor, the more we see Him move supernaturally in our lives and in our world. Conversely, if we resist His activity in the supernatural, we are not only keeping Him from doing His job in and through us, we are also grieving God, by resisting His healing for us.
Going Off the Deep End?
Throughout history apprehension has been expressed that since the activity of the supernatural is not seen or controlled by us, we can be controlled by it, and therefore there is a danger that we can be deceived and led into doing something offensive to God. First of all, let’s settle it that if God was not strong enough to keep us from being deceived, what makes us think that we are! Second, this thinking reflects that ingrained lack of trust in the love God has for us. He can be trusted with our training, and though He will often put us into situations WE cannot handle, He will never put us into a situation that HE can’t handle! As we partner and cooperate with the Spirit, He will maintain whatever balance is necessary to keep our focus on Him and not on what He is doing.
Adapted from Knowing God by Dianne Thomas