What comes to mind when you think of the Holy Spirit? Is it really a spirit and how can it be holy? Is it magic? It seems a bit spooky. Does the Holy Spirit have anything to do with God? For many of us the topic of the Holy Spirit has been ignored or considered taboo. In my upcoming book, Unlimited, I have started a conversation we all can understand about this curious and exciting topic—the Holy Spirit.
Did you realize the Holy Spirit has been with us since creation? If we begin at the beginning, the Holy Spirit has always been involved in creation. Genesis 1:2 says, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” From the creation of the world, the Holy Spirit has been a part of it all!
Beyond The Article With Benny Tate, PhD
Dynamis Power In a Person
The number one thing you must understand about the Holy Spirit is He is a person. He is the third person in the Holy Trinity. The Trinity is often explained through a comparison with water. Water has three different forms: solid, liquid and gas, but all three are still water. God is three people in One: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While the Holy Spirit is a person too great for us to fully comprehend; He’s a person nonetheless. The Holy Spirit will never violate or contradict the teaching of the Bible. Having a relationship with the Holy Spirit will change your life.
The Holy Spirit is not mystical or weird. The Holy Spirit is not an energy or a force. He is a person who feels. He’s a person who grieves. In Ephesians 4:30 the Bible says “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” Just as we sadden other people in relationships, we can sadden the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is for everyone. He’s not just for clergy. He’s for laity. In Exodus 31, Bezaleel was the first person the Bible says was filled with the Holy Spirit. He designed stones for the Tabernacle and was a Master Craftsman. The first person filled was not a sacred priest, prophet or a Levite. He was secular. He was not in ministry, but in the marketplace.
New Season Growing Toward Holy Spirit
During 2016, I felt led to preach a sermon series on the Holy Spirit. I studied, prayed and prepared more than ever before to preach for six weeks on the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I believed the Holy Spirit would come and great change would happen. He came, indeed! And He changed everything in my personal life as well as the lives of our church staff and congregation.
God wants to do the same things in your life through the power of the Holy Spirit. When you allow the Holy Spirit to fill and direct your life, everything will change: relationships will be healed, self-esteem will be lifted, purpose will be revealed, hope will overflow, peace will reign in your heart, and the goodness and faithfulness of God in your life will be undeniable! If you have tried for far too long to manage everything going on in your life, I encourage you to surrender your strength to the indwelling presence and unlimited power of the Holy Spirit.
While you may not be filling up on alcohol daily like the men and women who banged on the back door of the local bar, which was my childhood home, at all hours of the night, you are filling up on something. If it’s not the Holy Spirit, you will find yourself returning to worldly sources again and again for things that will cost you so much but leave you unsatisfied. Being filled daily by the Holy Spirit is the only satisfying source in life. The hardships and disappointments will drain you, but I’m happy to report the Holy Spirit’s power is available to you each day, because His power and presence are unlimited!
Learning from your mistakes is good, but learning from the mistakes of others is better. I hope you will learn from my mistakes and seek to gain a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit through learning biblical facts to help you move beyond an attitude of ignorance to discover the truth about the Holy Spirit. I do not mean to offend anyone by using the word ignorance; it simply means to be uninformed.
Many people tend to disregard what they don’t understand, and the Holy Spirit has been disregarded by Christians and non-believers alike. There are three groups of people in this world: those who don’t know the Lord and have not received the Holy Spirit, those who know the Lord and have received the Holy Spirit, but have never completely surrendered to His Lordship, and those who know the Lord and are controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Relying on your strength, intelligence and solutions will only drain you more and more. Every person must set aside their desire to do it all through self and instead surrender to the Savior who can bring peace, healing and true fulfillment. Many of you may have already asked Jesus into your heart but you’ve yet to surrender everything to Him. You continue to live life in your own strength and struggle to maintain peace. I’ve got good news: let the Creator of the universe carry the heavy load, because you were never meant to carry it and He’s always wanted to relieve you from it!
Surrendering completely to the Holy Spirit means you no longer operate in your own strength. If you acknowledge everything in your life is from God and allow Him to determine your every step, you will develop greater patience because you know nothing is yours to control in the first place.
Divine Plumbers Fixing Spiritual Pipes
D.L. Moody (a great preacher from days gone by) used to pray on a regular basis, “God fill me with your Spirit.” Someone asked him, Brother Moody, why do you always pray God fill me with your Spirit and he said “because I leak!” What I’ve learned is, we’re not of this world, but we’re in this world and we battle the world, the flesh and the devil—so we leak. That’s why it’s paramount we are constantly surrendering to the Lord, and freshly surrendering, because I am convinced as we surrender more of ourselves to God we encounter more of His presence in our lives. We encounter more of the fullness of everything God wants us to be.
Surrender often means weakness, right? The world teaches those who surrender are the ones too weak to conquer. However, the Bible teaches the exact opposite, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness,” (2 Cor. 12:9). When you surrender completely to God and admit you are in need of a power greater than your own, you receive divine strength from the Holy Spirit. Why wouldn’t you want to give full control to the One who loves you more than anyone, is all-wise and is able to accomplish what’s best for you?
Call In Your Abundance Today!
God is not a god of little or less but the God of abundance! Look to His Word and read of His promises to those who put their hope and trust in Him. This world will leave you hopeless and empty when you try to do it all on your own, but God will fill you with Holy Spirit power and will relieve you of the burdens you carry. He offers living water that will flow into your soul and provide nourishment for all that seems dead in your life!
We live in a world where most churches design their services to attract people. I’m not opposed to different ways of trying to attract people. I am convinced we should focus on designing our services to attract the Holy Spirit; I believe if you’ll focus your service on attracting the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit will attract people. When Paul and Silas were in jail, God sent an earthquake and the jailhouse shook. The jailer was going to kill himself and basically, the inmate said don’t do yourself any harm. We’re all here. What happened? The presence of God caused them to want to be there! The presence of God is something I believe people are drawn to. There’s nothing like it in this world! I would encourage churches to design services to exalt Jesus, because when we exalt Jesus, it certainly attracts the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit said when I am come, I will glorify Jesus. So, He’s about glorifying Jesus. When we want to glorify and exalt Jesus, it attracts His presence to our lives and our services.
I don’t want people to seek Jesus because it’s trending or try to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit because it’s a hot topic. I want people to have a true understanding of Him in order to choose for themselves. It must be something a person willingly enters into if it’s going to be a lasting decision.
Maybe you need to start believing the Holy Spirit cares deeply for you and will speak to you daily. You may be someone who has heard from God in the past but must decide in your heart to be obedient to whatever He asks you to do now. If your life is full of distractions, you may need to silence the noise and revise your schedule to better hear the Holy Spirit speak. Instead of running to the phone run to the throne. Whatever your circumstances may be, I know the Holy Spirit wants to speak to you. He is faithful to direct you in every decision you face if you will trust Him above all else!
The Third Person of our Triune God Is There for a Reason
I can’t help but think how Romans 8:11 says, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” I’m reminded if the power of the Holy Spirit can raise Jesus from the dead, His power can help me overcome anything I face in this life.
One day not long after I finished praying and going over my message, my wife Barbara and I got into a conversation that led to a bit of a disagreement. We weren’t fighting but we were having some intensive fellowship when I clearly heard God say to me, “You need the Holy Spirit right now, not just when you preach.” I realized at that moment I need a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit every day so I can be the pastor I need to be as well as the husband, father and friend I need to be. I need the power of the Holy Spirit for everything in life, and so do you!
Benny Tate, PhD, has served for over 30 years as senior pastor of Rock Springs Church in Milner, Georgia. He also served as president of the Congregational Methodist denomination for 10 years and served as a guest chaplain for the US Senate and House of Representatives. Dr. Tate and his wife, Barbara, live in Forsyth, Georgia.