How Does the Holy Spirit Actually Move?

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James W. Goll

Holy Spirit

“The earth was formless and void,darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water” (Gen. 1:2).

Negative Responses to the Holy Spirit

We are not just to be open to the Holy Spirit, but we are to passionately pursue Him. But there are several warnings given to us in Scriptures of attitudes and actions to avoid in our relationship with and to the Holy Spirit.

1. Do Not Neglect or Ignore

Paul uses the word ignorant 13 times in the epistles. “Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant” (1 Cor. 12:1).

2. Do Not Grieve

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Eph. 4:29-31).

3. Do Not Quench

“Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19).

4. Do Not Blaspheme

“Therefore I say to you, all kinds of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven men. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt. For the tree is known by its fruit” (Matt. 12:31-33).

5. Do Not Insult

“How much more severe a punishment do you suppose he deserves, who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded the blood of the covenant that sanctified him to be a common thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:29).

When you insult someone, they remove their presence from you. 

 6. Do Not Tempt

“Peter said to her, ‘How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also” (Acts 5:9).

Positive Responses to the Holy Spirit

Not only are there warnings listed in Scripture, but there are positive responses specifically listed for us to obey.

1. Be Born of the Spirit

“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God'” (John 3:5).

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

“Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.” The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit'” (John 3:3-8).

2. Receive and Be Baptized in the Spirit

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

“I indeed baptize you with water to repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matt. 3:11).

 3. Be Continuously Filled

“Do not be drunk with wine, for that is reckless living. But be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).

4. Know and See the Spirit

“I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, that He may be with you forever: the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, for it does not see Him, neither does it know Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you fatherless. I will come to you” (John 14:16-18).

5. Be Led by the Spirit

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).

6. Pray in the Spirit

“For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful” (1 Cor. 14:14).

“But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith. Pray in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20).

7. Walk in the Spirit

“I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).

8. Hear the Spirit

“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Heb. 3:15).

A great definition of moving in the Holy Spirit is to so flow with the Lord as to not cast two shadows.

3 Things to Do With the Holy Spirit

1. Honor Him as a Guest

Welcome Him on a first-name basis without over-familiarity. Acknowledge Him as the third person of the Godhead, with His own distinct personality (John 16:13). Honor Him and desire His presence.

2. Seek Him

Ask for Him and seek to be equipped by Him (Lk. 7:7-11). He is more than a “special guest.” He is our equipper. Ask the Father in Jesus name to be equipped by the Holy Spirit to do the ministry work.

3. Give Him Freedom and Liberty

Yield to Him (2 Cor. 3:17). When the Holy Spirit is Lord, there will be freedom for the people. Let the Holy Spirit be in control.

4. Principles of How the Holy Spirit Always Moves

Read John 14:16-21 and John 16:5-15 before proceeding into the following points.

a. In and Through (by means of) the Written Scriptures

He never moves contrary to the Word of God. He compliments and does not compete with the Word of God.

b. In Agreement With the Father and the Son

There are never three wills in the Godhead. The Holy Spirit reveals the counsel of the Father and the Son.

c. Brings Jesus Into a Greater Reality

The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus as a living reality, and brings us into a deeper relationship with Him.

d. A Life-Giving Source

He brings us into the life of the Lord Jesus. He is interested in maturing our character, not just bringing us personal comfort. He is interested in bringing us truth, not false assurance or deceptive consolation. He woos, convicts, shepherds and leads us to the life-source of God.

e. Moving the Believer to Be a Witness

He helps us overcome our fears and He stretches us outside of ourselves, bringing both maturity and fruit. He motivates us to testify of the love and power of God.

Preparations to Flow in the Holy Spirit

1. Avoid Hurrying or Rushing

Quiet yourself before the Lord. Avoid being like a stirred-up fish bowl and rest before His presence.

“I wait for the Lord, with bated breath I wait; I long for His Word! My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning” (Ps. 131:5-6).

“I composed and quieted my desire, like a child given suck by his mother; like a child who sucks is my desire within me” (Ps. 131:2).

2. Pray in the Spirit

“He who speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church” (I Cor. 14:4).

3. Get Involved

Seek God for something to take when you attend a gathering. Purpose in your heart to get involved and don’t go just to receive.

4. God Wants to Use You!

Yes! God wants to use little ole me! Believe that the Lord wants to use me to impart to others.

5. It’s Only by Grace

Ask God for a revelation of grace. That way all the glory goes to God to whom it all belongs.

Closing Thoughts

1. The Kingdom of God is in the Holy Spirit

“For the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17).

2. Rivers of Living Water Shall Flow

Out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. Pray for this to occur in your life. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).

Father, I ask that out of my inner most being that streams of revelation, power and life would flow out of me. I stir up the gift of God within me. River of God flow out of me onto dry ground! In Jesus Name!

Dr. James Goll is the founder of Encounters Network, Prayer Storm and helps carry on the work of Compassion Acts. For information on his online school visit: geteschool.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today. 

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