Recently, I was listening to some teaching by Chuck Smith on the work of the Holy Spirit. The teaching was excellent with lots of great stuff. But I wanted to specifically focus on something he pointed out within the first few moments of the audio.
I don’t recall the name of the work he was quoting and, sitting here at the computer, I don’t have the audio with me to re-listen to it (though I may post it in the comments later) so this will pretty much be a paraphrase of a reading of a work that I have no name or author for.
Though the name and of the person and work escape me, the message was loud and clear. Basically, what it said was that any time the church or a group of believers experienced a significant revival, it came during a time when there was a great deal of study on the topic of the Holy Spirit.
One reason that this hit me so hard is that it occurred to me that, of the three “persons” of the divine Trinity, the Holy Spirit seems to be the “odd man out” most of the time. And yet, when you stop to think about it, the Holy Spirit is the one person of the Godhead who is the most intimately involved in our lives.
It is the Holy Spirit who lives within us. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin. It is the Holy Spirit who helps to mold and shape us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us power over Satan, who gives us an “out” when faced with temptation, who whispers into our ears about what God’s will is for us in a given situation.
Yet, the Holy Spirit is not really talked about much. That is, unless you go to a more charismatic-style of church. But for most of the Church, we hear about the Holy Spirit almost as an afterthought in many cases. If we’re listing out the persons of the Trinity, He gets a mention. Otherwise, God and Jesus are the main topics of conversation.
And yet, as Chuck Smith read, it is precisely by focusing on the Holy Spirit that we experience a more profound and sincere connection with God. Perhaps this is because He lives within us as believers.
At work, a group of us get together every week during lunch to do a men’s Bible study. Currrently, we’re studying the Holy Spirit. If there was any doubt that this type of study could result in deeper and stronger connections with God, one indication is that the moment we began studying this topic, all of us involved in this study started experiencing some serious spiritual warfare. Obviously, someone wants to distract us and keeping us from getting closer to God.
So, I dare you to start studying about the Holy Spirit. You will find yourself in quite a war with the adversary. But, not to worry. If you’ve read all the way through Revelation, you know the end of the story. We win!
Take up the challenge. Let’s have a massive revival. Let’s bring the Holy Spirit back into our lives in a big way and, by His power, help defeat the enemy!
Grace, love and peace.