By Ryan Shaw
We are biblically taught the Holy Spirit is a Person, not an informal “it.” He has a mind (Romans 8:27), possesses knowledge (1 Corinthians 2:10,11) and has a will of His own (1 Corinthians 12:11).
We find Him acting and forming relationships in Scripture which only a person can do. He speaks (Acts 1:16), prays (Romans 8:26,27), comforts (Acts 9:31), teaches (John 14:26), works miracles (Acts 2:4; 8:39), and can be resisted (Acts 7:51). He commands (Acts 8:29; 11:12; 13:2) and forbids certain actions (Acts 16:6,7). It is as a Person we relate with Him.
His person-hood is easily overlooked because of the term “Spirit”. The Holy Spirit is called this because He is directly from God and is the very manifestation of the powerful presence of God.
Some refer to the practice of receiving the Holy Spirit as “spiritual breathing”. When we breathe in we symbolically take in more of Him and when we breathe out we surrender all of the areas hindering our capacity to be possessed with the Spirit.
A key characteristic of His person-hood is that He possesses emotions (Romans 5:5; Ephesians 4:30). He feels pain and experiences great exaltation just like us. Like the Father and Jesus, He is a living person moved by our heart adoration, love and fellowship. He seeks to consistently, and in a growing capacity, relate intimately with us.
This is why the Bible cautions us not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). This is important because it is the Spirit who dwells among and in us. The Father and Jesus are in heaven at this very moment, while the Holy Spirit is moving on the earth among the people of God.
The Holy Spirit is the One interacting with us and helping us to worship and glorify Jesus. Embracing and engaging Him is critical to growing in deeper love for Jesus.
How do we do this practically? The introductory way we begin to walk by the Spirit is by talking to Him as a Person. This seems so simple and yet is one of the most neglected practices in the body of Christ. It is a significant reason more believers do not walk in the Spirit.
Most of us know theologically we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Yet, to take it to the next level and actually talk to this Person is rare. This is what is meant by fellowshipping with Him.
We start by thanking Him throughout our day on a regular basis. We spend a few minutes each time honoring Him for His leadership in our lives and for the small amounts of power He releases into our minds, emotions and bodies to overcome temptation.
If we will do this 3,4,5 times a day on a daily basis we will find our lives significantly changed and real power (though in small amounts) invading our lives, helping us live more according to the ways of God. This is God’s prescribed means of overcoming the flesh (Galatians 5:16-25).
Like any person the Holy Spirit responds when we invite Him into areas of our lives, thank Him for all of His benefits and set our hearts to receive from Him with gratitude. We are to treat Him as a best friend whom we confide in with all our being.
“Want more of Ryan’s writings on the Holy Spirit and His role in the Great Commission?Check out this helpful book.”