And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
One of the hardest things to describe to people is the Holy Spirit. When I was younger, I heard a lot of people call Him the “Holy Ghost,” and that always seemed a bit spooky to me. After all, my impression of ghosts was that they hid in the shadows and jumped out to scare you. I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of God dressed up like Casper, or any other ghost for that matter.
Of course, what I know today is that God is nothing like a ghost. But there is a part of God that is definitely “spirit,” and He exists to give you power and comfort and counsel, along with a lot of other very important things. That doesn’t make Him any easier to understand. Even the disciples had a hard time figuring out what the Holy Spirit would mean to them, that is until He showed up on Pentecost.
Try this: Pull a few pieces of ice out of the freezer and put them in a glass. After a few minutes, take a look and you’ll probably notice a few things.
- First, the ice is still there. It hasn’t gone anywhere (unless you didn’t tell someone about your experiment, and they either threw the ice in the sink or used it to cool down a drink).
- Second, some of the ice has already started to melt. There should be at least a few drops of water near the ice.
- Finally, if you look closely, you’ll see a little bit of vapor near the edges of the top of the ice. That’s called sublimation – some of the solid ice is skipping the melting phase and turning instantly into a gas.
Right there in your glass are three different states of water – solid, liquid and gas – all in one place. But it’s all still water.
That’s the best way I know how to tell you about the existence of the Holy Spirit. We can all picture God, even though we can’t see Him. He’s large and in charge, and He’s sitting on the throne. We can picture Jesus, even though we haven’t met Him. We’ve seen paintings of Him, and most of us have seen movies about Him. Jesus is very real to most people.
But the Holy Spirit is just as real as the air around you. You can’t see that either (unless you live in a big city, but that’s another issue). We breathe air all of the time, and even though we don’t see it, we don’t question that it’s there. We just know it is. For the Christian, the Holy Spirit’s presence around us is just as important as having air. The Spirit is our power for living. Without the Spirit, there’s no way we can possibly live as a Christian. It would be like throwing a ball when you don’t have hands, or running when you don’t have feet. The Spirit gives us the power to do the things that Jesus asked us to do, like caring for the poor, praying for sick people to be healed or loving people who don’t love us back.
Today, say a special prayer to the Lord thanking Him for sending His Holy Spirit to us as a comforter, healer, teacher and friend. Pray also that He will be very real in your life, and that the Spirit will give you the power to life an awesome Christian life.
Reflection copyright © 2015 Doug DeBolt
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.