The Holy Spirit is arguably the most misunderstood member of the Trinity. While we have a pretty good grasp of what God the Father and Jesus the Son do in our lives, many of us struggle to truly grasp the various roles played by the Holy Spirit. Understanding who He (the Holy Spirit) is and what He does is important for followers of Christ, as the Holy Spirit’s role is every bit as important as the other members of the Godhead.
It would be easy to argue that the Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood member of the Godhead. Depending on your personal church history, you may have heard that the Holy Spirit is responsible for charismatic displays of worship. You may have also heard that the Holy Spirit, who is often referred to as the Holy Ghost, serves as that little voice inside that tells you that you’ve sinned whenever you do something wrong. While these may certainly be part of the Holy Spirit’s role in the lives of believers, there are many more roles to consider.
The Bible is clear about the fact that the Holy Spirit lives inside of every believer (1 Corinthians 3:16). Since you have 1/3 of the Trinity living inside of you, it’s important that you truly understand what that means for you. Yes, sometimes the power of the Holy Spirit does result in a physical display of tears or happiness while you’re worshiping. Yes, the Holy Spirit can serve as a gentle nudge that you’ve committed a sinful action. However, He is more than that. He is the presence of the living God inside of you.
When we gain a better understanding of His various roles, we can fall even more in love with God while continuing to submit our lives to Him.
The Holy Spirit Empowers Us
Luke 24:49 (TPT)
And I will send the fulfillment of the Father’s promise to you. So stay here in the city until the mighty power of heaven falls upon you and wraps around you.
Jesus told the disciples that when they received the Holy Spirit that it would be like being “clothed in power from Heaven.” That kind of promise not only sounds a bit mysterious, but it can sound a little bit alarming as well. What does it mean to be clothed with power? What does it mean to receive the Holy Spirit? There are a lot of questions to answer here.
Receiving the Holy Spirit isn’t something that you have to actively do on your own. Instead, the Bible promises us that from the moment that we believe, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13). Receiving something that God freely gives doesn’t require any work on your part. Additionally, being “clothed in power” (as it’s worded in some translations) or the Holy Spirit “wraps around you” doesn’t require any work on your part.
Instead, the empowerment provided by the Holy Spirit works more like a King (or a King of Kings in our case) putting the best armor on you. When you’re clothed or wrapped in His presence and power, you know that you’re empowered with what you need to face any battle.
The Holy Spirit Guides Us
1 John 2:27 (TPT)
But the wonderful anointing you have received from God is so much greater than their deception and now lives in you. There’s no need for anyone to keep teaching you. His anointing teaches you all that you need to know, for it will lead you into truth, not a counterfeit. So just as the anointing has taught you, remain in him.
Romans 8:14 (TPT)
The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever been lost? Obviously, we’re not talking about the condition you were in before you got saved, since we’ve all been there. Instead, have you ever been on a road trip and found yourself lost. For years, before we had access to a world full of maps on our cellphones, we had to rely on a printed map to get us where we wanted to go. It was incredibly easy to get lost in those days.
On our spiritual journey, it’s still kind of easy to lose our sense of direction. When problems pop up in our lives, it’s easy to become so focused on what we’re facing that we lose sight of where we’re going, which leaves us feeling lost. That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in.
The Holy Spirit, since He is every bit as much God as God the Father and Jesus the Son, has access to all the wisdom of God. He knows exactly where you’re going, what’s best for you, and what’s going to happen in your future. With that in mind, that means that we can rely on the Holy Spirit to direct us.
When you’re feeling lost and you ask God to give you some sense of direction, it will be the Holy Spirit who ministers to you, encourages you, and guides you. That’s just part of what He does.
The Holy Spirit Creates Unity
Acts 2:42 (TPT)
Every believer was faithfully devoted to following the teachings of the apostles. Their hearts were mutually linked to one another, sharing communion and coming together regularly for prayer.
The entire second chapter of the Book of Acts recounts the birth of the early Church. After Christ had risen from the dead and ascended back into Heaven, the New Testament Church was preparing to be born. When the Church was born, one of the first things that happened was that unity abounded.
While this chapter of Acts does discuss some of the other results of the Holy Spirit’s presence, one of the most powerful was the unity that developed between members of the early Church.
That unity didn’t just give them all someone to befriend. It wasn’t just a case of them all having someone to share communion with and pray with. No, the unity that was created by the Holy Spirit’s presence in the early Church cultivated a culture that would change the world.
The rest of the Book of Acts focuses on the work of the early Church, and all of the miracles that those first New Testament believers performed were the result of the unity that they had experienced. That unity, which was the result of the Holy Spirit’s presence, is just as important for us today.
Allow the Holy Spirit to build unity with you and other believers as you work together to further God’s Kingdom on earth.
The Holy Spirit Comforts Us
John 14:15-16 (ESV)
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper, to be with you forever, even 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.
In some translations, John 14:15 says that “he will give you another comforter.” The terminology used isn’t as important as the final role of the Holy Spirit that we’re going to look at today. All of us need someone to comfort us sometimes. That need begins when we’re young and doesn’t really go away at any point in our lives. When you’re young and fall down, you automatically look for an adult that you know cares about you to comfort you. When you get older, those falls don’t involve a scraped knee. Instead, they’re divorces, deaths, job losses, and other potentially life-altering events.
However, while the reasons that we need a Comforter may change, the fact that we need someone in our corner to comfort and sooth us remains the same. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will provide that help and the comfort that we need.
When you’re grieving, there’s something incredibly comforting about someone that you know loves you putting his or her arms around you and giving you a good hug. That feeling of support is worth more than the person giving it even realizes. God knows that you need a comforter, especially in times of distress. His Holy Spirit provides that for you.
A Closing Prayer:
God, thank You for the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. I know that He provides me with everything that I need, and that I cannot make it without Him. God, please give me the power that I need to face what lies before me. Give me the guidance and the direction that I need to navigate life. Bring me into unity with other believers and please, please comfort me in my times of need. In Christ’s name, Amen.