There are many people who get nervous when they hear the term “spirit filled”. These folks immediately think of strange behaviors that mirror what you would see on “Paranormal Activity”. But, in spite of human fear, God has directed His people to “walk in the Spirit”.
I believe that fear of the Holy Spirit and the misunderstandings surrounding His work are erased when you understand the Spirit’s ministry.The Holy Spirit is a permanent member of the Godhead. His ministry is to bring glory to Jesus and to bring to our remembrance everything that Jesus said. The Spirit is sent by the Father into the world to indwell and empower believers. If the Spirit is part of the Godhead, if He is sent by the Father to live in us and to live through us, and if His ministry is to bring glory to Jesus and to replicate His words and actions, why would we be afraid?
There has been some disagreement in the Body of Christ regarding the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit. Since, there is no clear evidence in Scripture that the ministry of the Holy Spirit has changed since He was sent by the Father, we had better get rid of our fear and seek to possess a clearer understanding of this important Person in the Godhead.
I would like to write a little over the next few weeks regarding the work of the Spirit. I would like to start by looking at, what the Bible calls the evidence of the presence of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 gives us a list of what is called the “fruit” of the Spirit. The list begins with three beautiful fruits that I would like to examine today.
The first fruit of the Spirit mentioned is love. When you say the word “love” in English, it carries different degrees of commitment and feeling depending upon the object spoken of. This word used for love here in Galatians is very specific. It means a “self sacrificial” commitment in which the lover puts the needs of the beloved before his own. Since this love is not based in feelings or upon the performance of the beloved, it remains steadfast. Wherever you find the Spirit in control, you will find this type of love in control.
Another evidence or fruit of the Spirit is joy. This joy is not based upon circumstances but upon relationship. Happiness we know a lot about but happiness is based on what is “happening”. Joy, on the other hand is based in the love we spoke of earlier. If that love of the Spirit is unchanging, then the joy associated with it never changes either. So, you have love that never dies and love that will put itself aside for the object of its affection. Along with that comes a joy that does not change because the love does not change. If you couple that love with the power of God, joy overflows!
The last evidence we will look at today is peace. This fruit is not the absence of war or difficult circumstances but a wholeness and a well-being related to our relationship with Jesus. It includes the “peace of God” as well as “peace with God”.This peace is not based in your perfection but in His. It manifests as we rest in His position and intention for us. I am complete in Him.
Is there any reason to fear these “evidences” of the Spirit’s presence? Isn’t this a representation of the ministry of Jesus?
Next time, we’ll look at more of the evidence of the Spirit and take another look at His behavior. Until then, talk to the Lord and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. There is nothing to fear.
“Whoever wants to have a half- Christ loses the whole”. John Calvin