THEOLOGY & APOLOGETICS
What is the role of the Holy Spirit in a believer's life?
By Mauvreen Hamilton
Are you frustrated with your spiritual walk? Do you try to follow Christ but fail so much that you fear He will give up on you? The reason why you cannot get your life right before God is simple — you are trying to do it in your own strength. When Jesus was talking with His disciples at the last supper, one of the things that He said to them was that they could do nothing without Him (John 1:5). Nothing is a strong word, but Jesus never used words lightly, and when He said "nothing" He meant exactly that. We cannot so much as take a breath of air or lift a finger without His help. This was His main reason for asking His Father to send the Holy Spirit to be their comfort, guide and help after He had gone (John 14:16).
This same Spirit is with us today and as anxious to be of service to us as He was to be of assistance to the disciples in Jesus' time. When we are distressed or perplexed it is He who comforts us in our grief and also shows us the way forward (Psalm 32:8). He is also there to help us to come closer to our Heavenly Father and to get to know Him and His ways (Isaiah 55:8) far better as we walk with Him on our pilgrimage through life.
The Holy Spirit's help and guidance is available to each and every one of us today, which is the most wonderful gift that God could have given us, as there is no way we could ever struggle through life on our own without making the most complete mess of it. At the Last Supper (in John 14:16-17), when Jesus said to His disciples "And I will pray the Father, and He shall send you the Comforter, that He may abide with you forever," He followed this up with "the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but you know Him; for He dwells with you, and shall be in you." Notice the last part of this, "dwells with you and shall be IN you." Although the Holy Spirit is always at our shoulders, being the perfect gentleman He will never gatecrash but will only come and dwell within us alongside our own human spirits at our personal invitation, and it is most important that we should give Him this invitation as He can then function much more effectively. We will be able to hear his voice so much more clearly and be much more aware of his inner nudges about what He wants us to do if He is operating from within. We know the first disciples were aware of this, as in Acts 8:15-17 it says, "As soon as they arrived they began praying for these new Christians to receive the Holy Spirit, for as yet He had not come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit."
I asked this Divine Being to come and live alongside my own spirit over 30 years ago. As soon as I did He began very gently to turn my life the right way up, and just as a baby learns to recognize the voices of its parents, so I learned to recognize His voice. I was also aware of the changes that began to take place in my outlook and attitude towards others. Instead of putting Self first, I began to be not only willing but anxious that the welfare of other people should come first. Small dishonesties and little white lies became a thing of the past, and I found myself learning not to judge people but to come alongside them and find out what made them tick. People who would once have rubbed me up the wrong way became my friends as they discovered that I was sympathetic to them rather than judgmental. I knew that all this was the work of my indwelling divine guest, and that I could never have brought about these wonderful changes for the better in my own strength.
If you do decide to give this invitation to the Holy Spirit, you will immediately feel closer to God, as one of His first moves will be to let you know the reality of Psalm 91, in particular verses 10 and 11: "No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways." Your soul will be protected for eternity. And you will find that He is the best adviser that you could ever have, and the most wonderful help where temptations are concerned. This is a sad, sick and sorry old world, but the Holy Spirit will help you to make it a better place as He guides you along your way and brings about changes within you as He did with me. With the Holy Spirit's help, instead of finding life hard, you will begin to find it the most wonderful adventure. There will be trials and difficulties ahead, but He will be there to help you to find the courage to face them and get through them, and there will also be the most wonderful golden times in store for you as you learn that you can trust him totally and absolutely.
You will hear many voices expressing many different opinions about what I have said to you, and some may try to persuade you that this is all nonsense. All I can say to this is why not give it a try? Remember the old Quaker saying: "All discouragement is of the devil," and keep the Scripture in Proverbs 3:5 close to your heart: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and not to your own understanding. In all yours ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."
Never forget that God loves you far beyond what you could dream of, and has no more thought of giving up on you than I have of taking off for the moon! All He wants you to do now is to stop worrying and believe in His love, let Him comfort you and accept His gift to you of the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit so that your prayer to get right with God will be answered.
Image Credit: tpsdave; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Sin-Evil
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