July 29, 2011 by Daniel Beckworth
I’m continuing my series on “10 Things I’ve Learned” during my 24 years as a human and time as a youth pastor. I hope these reflections bless you! I’d love to hear your feedback.
#5 The Holy Spirit is not the black sheep of the family.
I guess you could say I grew up in the Southern Baptist Convention. I periodically went to church as a young whippersnapper, but I never put much stock into religion until I hit my teen years. I began attending church at age thirteen at a small Southern Baptist church near my home in Andalusia, AL. I don’t remember much about those early sermons, but I do remember the Holy Spirit must have been on vacation. I became a Christian when I was seventeen years old and I had absolutely no idea who the Holy Spirit was or what He did.I’d visited the local Pentecostal church a time or two and I thought having the Holy Spirit “slay you” or “come over you” was the equivalent to entering a UFC fight and getting slammed by God. I figured I could do without any person of the Trinity who wanted to knock me out in front of a group and the baptist weren’t talking about it, so I kept on trucking in my ignorance. This pattern continued until I entered college and developed a brain of my own. I discovered I actually owned a bible and my public school education was just good enough to allow me to read a bit. After diving into the scriptures, it became quite clear that people had been hiding something very important. It seemed that my Baptist roots had forgotten to mention the Holy Spirit and my Pentecostal friends had completely freaked me out.
Check out these sweet verses that changed my life…
15 ”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you anotherHelper,[f] to be with you forever, 17even 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.” John 14:15-17
25“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26But 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. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:25-27
”I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6But because I have said these things to you,sorrow has filled your heart. 7Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When 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. 14He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:12-15
Everyone thinks life would be easier if Jesus was their personal holiness coach who followed them around all day and fashioned whips out of chord every time they were about to sin. Jesus debunks this popular myth by telling us that it is better that He goes so that the Spirit can come. Why is that better? Because Jesus was limited to being in one place at one time while on the earth as the God-man. The Holy Spirit indwells all believers at all times. That means I have God living inside of me as I type out these words. I have the God living inside of me when I go to lay down, as I go to the store, and even while I’m at church. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave is living in me. That’s pretty powerful. I now understand that I can say no to sin because the Holy Spirit will help me. I can have confidence and boldness as I share my faith. I can rely on someone who is far more powerful than I. This has truly been one of the greatest discoveries of my life.
If you have a flawed view of the Holy Spirit, you’re really missing out. If you have a low view of the Holy Spirit, you will most definitely live a defeated life. You will completely overlook the power that comes from this knowledge of God. I would have completely lacked the boldness needed to share my faith.Not to mention, you will completely rob the Holy Spirit of the glory that He deserves as God. If you place too much emphasis on the Holy Spirit, you end up being weird and nobody will want to come over to your house for dinner because they’re afraid you’ll drop a Benny Hinn on them. You must always remember and be mindful that the Holy Spirit is God. He is all-together worthy of your praise. He is on equal ground as Jesus and God the Father. He also plays an intricate role in your salvation and sanctification. When was the last time you specifically thanked the Holy Spirit for His love and guidance? Do that right now.
Francis Chan wrote a great book on the Holy Spirit. Pick up a copy of his book, Forgotten God, for a more information.