When I read through through the book “Knowing God” by (J.I. Packer), I was struggling with a very heavy family issue. My heart was being torn out from me with events that had taken place and a spiritual battle I was witnessing in the life of someone I love dearly. I was spending many night praying and calling out to Jesus to rescue this person from the lies that Satan was filling them with. It was during all of that I was being taken into a deeper walk with Christ. I dug deep into my faith knowing that Jesus was going to work in this person’s life no matter what it looked like in the moment. When I came to the following paragraphs in the book, I was hit with the realization that I had never thought about the Holy Spirit’s work in my life and the life of the individuals I was burdened for.
“Many excellent books have been written on the person and work of Christ, but the number of books worth reading on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, even in this charismatic era, is small. Christian people are not in doubt as to the work that Christ did; they know that he redeemed us by his atoning death, even if they differ among themselves as to what exactly this involved. But the average Christian, deep down, is in a complete fog as to what the work the Holy Spirit does. “
(“Knowing God” J.I. Packer)
It hit me that this “Comforter” that we were promised was honestly someone I had never taken interest in, and I was for sure one of the ones that was in a completely fog as to really what He did, who He is in my life and what His mandate is. Thinking on this made me sad, that after all the years I had been Christian that I had never really contemplated or taken interest in the one that Christ left for me.. for us.. the Holy Spirit.
Of course I knew he was left as a Comforter, but never really thought about or looked into what that meant or even taking time to think about Him working in my life and those I pray for. As I mentioned last week, one of the things the Holy Spirit is, is the helper, comforter and guide just as Jesus was to the people in His time here on earth. That was all new to me. Before that I thought of Him as Comforter in a “fru fru” kind of way. not in a relationship. I knew my relationship with Christ, but never gave the relationship with the Holy Spirit any thought. The paragraph as quoted above gave me an awakening that I needed to recognize him and get to know Him.
Looking back, I can see how this book being read at that time of great burden was a work of the Holy Spirit to draw me to a place of deeper trust in who God was during this crisis time in our lives. This threw me into my Bible and into a deeper sense of His presence in my prayer life. My faith was in Christ and that He loved these individuals no matter what, but I had never thought about the work of the Holy Spirit in the place that I couldn’t see into, their thoughts and hearts. This lead my faith to a new place, that I could know and build my faith on the one that works in the unseen places of someones heart. That John 3:17 says that He didn’t come to condemn them or us but to save us. Where it changed in my processing after reading the above paragraph, is that I was learning to draw nearer to the person of the Holy Spirit. When we pray, He groans for us on our behalf to the Father. He is part of relaying our hearts before the Father as mediator on our behalf. When we don’t know how to pray (and there were days I sure didn’t) , that He knows exactly what to say to the Father. (Romans 8:26) Oh the groaning He must have done to the Father on my behalf during that time!
Having a relationship with the Holy Spirit has strengthened my love for the Son who is my Saviour and has deepened my devotion to God as Father. I promise, if you take some time to really read the Bible about the Holy Spirit and contemplate His place in the Trinity and in your life you won’t be sorry. He is active and living… not in the distance, but IN you if you have opened your heart to Jesus as the Saviour. Take time to be interested in who He is. It is the Holy Spirit’s purpose to point us to Jesus. Taking time to read and learn more of Him will only strengthen your relationship to the Father.
Love, Hugs, n’ Prayers
(Section quoted above is from “Knowing God” by J. I. Packer sub heading “Divine yet Ignored”. I am using the purchased, downloaded version on Ibooks)