Friendship with the Holy Spirit?

How would you describe your relationship with the Holy Spirit? For many of us, that’s not an easy question to answer. We’re not sure what to do with the Holy Spirit. We know He is important–third member of the Trinity. We know He is mentioned a lot in the Bible and sometimes seems to do some really amazing stuff. But in terms of our own experience of Him, we’re not sure what that is supposed to look like.

In the process of writing my book “More”, I was fascinated to delve into how the apostle Paul talks about his (and our) relationship with the Spirit. He talks about the Spirit so frequently and in such a personal way. In Philippians 1, Paul–who is writing from prison–talks about the “help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” In Romans 8:14 he describes how those are led by the Spirit are children of God. Clearly Paul enjoyed a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit and he believed this is the privilege of every believer– to know the Spirit in a personal way.

What solidified this truth in my mind was a phrase that Paul twice uses in the New Testament to describe our experience with the Spirit. In 2 Corinthians 13:14 Paul writes, “May… the fellowship of the Spirit be with you all.” Fellowship. This word is the Greek word “koinonia” and it speaks of a significant level of personal engagement. In Acts 2:42, this word is used to describe how the early church enjoyed this amazing relational connection with one another. And yet Paul uses the word in terms of our relationship with the Spirit–that we can enjoy koininia with the Spirit of God.

For many years in my own spiritual journey, I kept the Holy Spirit at a distance.  Honestly, I was a bit afraid of Him. I had heard weird stories about His activity and at times had felt “pressured” to embrace a particular manifestation of the Spirit. So I kept my distance. But within my heart there was a hunger for more of Him. This became the prayer and passion of my heart. To know and experience the Holy Spirit. That’s a prayer God loves to answer…but sometimes His timing is different than ours. And sometimes the answer comes through means we would not choose.

I discovered that He often uses pain and difficulty to move us toward a deeper experience of the Spirit. For me, panic attacks were one of the instruments God used to open my eyes to see how I had built barriers around my heart that unintentionally kept the Spirit at a polite, safe distance. In my desperation, I experienced Him drawing near to me in very real, personal ways–ways that hadn’t happened before.

I realize that everyone’s journey is different. My encouragement to you today is to open your heart to the possibility and promise of a deeper experience with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to do that in your life. You’ll never regret it.

 

 

  9Comments

  1. candi   •  

    I too desire such relationship with the Holy Spirit. However, I am afraid of looking like those weird people who speak in tongues and roll on the ground shaking and making strange noises. Living in the land of dead bones. I find myself drying up. Digging deeper for the Holy Spirit to fill me. I don’t want to be a bubbling brook I want the Holy Spirit to fill me like a raging river… flowing out of me… moving through me… So often I desire to be connected with others who have the same desire. I think that is where sharpening happens and encouragement. Thank you for this word Pastor Alan. Looking forward to reading your new book. Praying for you all.

    • AlanKraft   •     Author

      Thanks Candi! God loves to see your longing heart and loves to fill those places. Check out John 7:37-39.

  2. Daniel Bittinat   •  

    Great blog post Pastor Kraft!

    My own experience with the Holy Spirit is very interesting. I have learned that he acts differently for each person, but is incredible nonetheless. I have experienced a physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s power while praying. I would describe the feeling almost like a jolt of euphoria, but with a bright overtone. I know skeptics would suggest that it was nothing more than a head rush or slight seizure, but I have tried to induce it on myself by having the same poster and stance.

    The Holy Spirit is sensitive to our behavior. He can convict us of our sin. Our sin will weaken his influence in our lives. I have felt closer to the Holy Spirit when I intentionally target my sin and ask for guidance to fight it. We cannot fight sin alone. Only with the Holy Spirit can we change.

    All of us can benefit from seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance. He is our gift from God.

    Bless you all!

    • AlanKraft   •     Author

      Thanks Daniel for your comments. I have had some similar experiences with the Holy Spirit–dramatic, tangible, powerful and nothing I could have made happen on my own. What a precious gift the Spirit is!

  3. Makala Doulos   •  

    Amen. He (They) is (Are) my best Friend(s). After crushing my life that i might despair of anything but turning to Him, His Spirit invaded my brokenness and filled me with a Joy that words only cheapen. To be utterly sure now of His Goodness, and for the Holy Spirit to literally, really, and experientally be exactly Who the Word of God says He is – has become the great empowering Joy of my life in Him…. His communication of the astounding Joy and Great Love within the depths of the Father’s heart, and His introduction of me to my Brother, Jesus has brought about something in me that has made all the pain so worth it… So incredibly worth it. He is so Wise and Good and Real and Funny and Joyous and Free… Oh what a privilege to be the friend of the One who made me!!!!

    • AlanKraft   •     Author

      Thanks Makala!

  4. Cheryl Stewart-Douglas   •  

    I feel the Holy Spirit close to me now…more so that when I was young. I had to experience a lot of loss and pain in my life and relationships before I truly knew Him. I turn to Him now in prayer, through music, listening to sermons, reading, and in communication with other Christians (especially my sister)….and He manifests Himself to me during these events by an inner tingling and “goosebumps” (I call them “Spirit-bumps”)! My sister also has this same experience. We often have that tingling at the same time, especially when we share something about an event that could only have come from the Grace of God! I have experienced more than one miracle in my life….and know that God is with me, and has been active in my life since I was a child. 🙂

    • AlanKraft   •     Author

      That’s awesome, Cheryl!

  5. keijo leppioja   •  

    Glory to God that have so much joy and thanksgivng for the HOly Spirits gift daily to be in heavenly realm in to be quard of him and he will help us today to knowing better Christ and the word in blessing to eating and drinking by faith in the spirit to glory for the Father in heaven, thanks and bless,keijo sweden

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