Bible Study, Biblical Truth, Christ in Me, Christ Life, Christian Life, Fruit of the Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, Indwelling Christ, Indwelling Spirit, Kingdom Truth, Life in Christ, Nature of God, Spiritual Life, Spirituality
My blog counter ticked over 100 followers! Thank you.
It has also been a year since I decided to start blogging again. I wasn’t sure what I was going to blog about but, like Jeremiah, words burned inside of me and I couldn’t hold them in (Jeremiah 20:9). I spent a great deal of time in prayer before deciding to return to blogging because it was then and still is important to me that any words I write be ones My Father would have me write. I have sought the leading of the Holy Spirit and, I mention it in my bio but am stating it here; this blog has not gone according to plan. At least, not my plan. My prayer continues to be that the Holy Spirit guides me and that each post will be only ever what He would have me write.
To that end: I am initiating a new study series on the Fruit of the Spirit. I did not intend to. I planned a series on the Epistle to the Hebrews. I would also like to do a post on the Hittites! I am certain each of my readers is just as fascinated as I am with ancient world cultures. 😉 One day, perhaps, if Father wills it so. As that time is not now, I will be devoting the next several weeks to the Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”.
What do I hope to achieve by this study? A greater understanding of the Holy Spirit. A greater understanding of what His work in my life looks like. I want this fruit to come to maturity in my life. The list is an incredible one. I am awed if I pick just one and stare at it. For example, peace. Is it possible to have peace in my life when I am in the midst of such upheaval? Yes, it is. More than that, peace is not something I have. To clarify: it is something I have because I do not have it in myself but it is not some attribute outside of me I have to somehow lay hold of. What I want this study to cement for me is that I have peace because peace is a person. I have peace because I have Jesus who is my peace and I partake of the peace He is because of the Holy Spirit living in me. Therefore, I do not seek to get peace. Rather, I seek to come to rest in the knowledge that One who is peace lives in me and I live from Him.
It has been seventeen, maybe eighteen years (time starts to run together a bit for me) since dissatisfaction with the state of my spiritual life caused me to go to my mother and say, “I want to learn more about the Holy Spirit.” She wanted that as well and so we started…where to start? What is the Holy Spirit? I had a few answers from my church-going background. He’s the Third Person of the Trinity. What does that mean? Here’s where answers would get hazy and vague. As I listened to those who ought to know attempt to tell me about the Holy Spirit, I couldn’t help but get the idea he was a great deal like the Force: He was everywhere and He was power. I learned nothing that helped me.
I find Him so very interesting as I look back: my mother and I expressed a wish to learn more about the Holy Spirit and within a few weeks a friend shared with us a series of writings that blew our tiny religious worlds apart. Within a few more months, I had experienced a crisis that left my life hanging in tatters. I was devastated. I didn’t know what to believe or if, indeed, I believed anything at all. It was at once a horrendous and wonderful place to be in because I discovered the Holy Spirit. I say “discovered” but it really isn’t like that at all. I suppose it’s more accurate to say He opened my eyes to see Him. To know Him.
In the midst of my shambles, I learned He was everything Jesus promised He would be in the 14th Chapter of John’s gospel. He revealed Himself as Comforter. He was so gentle with my broken heart. He didn’t turn from me because I’d made mistakes but made Jesus alive to me in a way He’d never been before. Jesus, the One who bore my shame and who cleanses me from all sin. The One who enables me to stand before the Father unashamed, certain that I am accepted.
When my eyes were opened to His Presence, I was able to look back over the dark, lonely, and frightening bits of my past and see that He was always with me. I was not ever alone, He hadn’t abandoned me in that moment when certainly I deserved for Him to have done, and I’ve lived every moment of every day since then aware of Him. He will not ever leave me. He cannot for He is not separate from me.
So, who is the Holy Spirit? I’ve addressed the word another before but, again: Jesus said he would send “another comforter” and the word another here means, another of the same sort. (See Allos G243 in Strong’s Concordance and “Another” in Vine’s Expository Dictionary). Another: different and yet the same. In Ezekiel 36:27, God says “I will put My Spirit within you” so the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and, indeed, I see as much in Acts 13:2 where the Holy Spirit speaks as God.
How do we believers explain the nature of God? He is Triune, we say: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three and yet One. Impossible, I have heard some say, and the term “Trinity” isn’t in the Bible. No, I agree that it isn’t but I don’t know of a better word unless I use “Perichoresis”. It’s a beautiful word used to describe the relationship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share with each other. I have another word I like to use when I think of the nature of God: paradox. He is (in my opinion) the ultimate paradox. He is Three distinct Persons but exists in such perfect love relationship union that it’s impossible for Him to be separate. My spirit, in union with His Spirit cries in joy, “The Lord Our God, The Lord is One!” (Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12:29).
I know this post is a bit long but I want to make clear what I believe and where I stand as I begin to study the Fruit of the Spirit. I hope I have done so. If not, I hope it becomes clear as I begin, next week, looking at the first fruit: love.
To be continued…