I know, from up high, when things in your life are going smoothly, it seems you can see forever. You have perspective from up high. Your feet are not in the weeds. It feels like you can find me easily, hear me clearly, be discouraged less quickly. You feel safe here—more sure of who you are and how things will turn out. It is not that you know the exact outcome, but you care about what happens next less.
Here, from up high, when you feel things are running smoothly, you assume your eyes are on me. You assume you’ve got it all figured out and that I am close. (Or, maybe you forget me all together.) In any case, I am with you, but you are distracted here.
But what will happen when your feet are back on the ground--when you feel less confident that you have it all together? When the noise of culture is raging and fear and temptation rise like bile in your throat? How do you not get blinded, deafened, overwhelmed so pressure is all you hear, all you feel, all you see? What will you do then? How will you find me then? How will you see me then? How will you remember I am close?
Let me tell you what you do: Know that you are my son. Know that you are my daughter. Know that you are equipped with the same Spirit in you that shepherded Jesus. No different. You are capable, as He was capable while on earth, to choose to heed me, seek me out, particularly where the crowds pressed in, when the noise of temptation was loud, when pride and greed and self-reliance were offered as paths to freedom and hope rather than me.
This spirit in you is your guide, your friend, your shepherd who never leaves. He is the whisperer of truth to your heart—and the provider of courage when faith is wavering and perseverance feels impossible.
Get to know him, son. daughter. Get to know your guide who never disappoints, never leaves, never tires, never steers you wrong.
This is your connection to me—Holy Spirit through Jesus. And it is love that binds the connection. Love is the reason Holy Spirit can be trusted. Trust him more than yourself, particularly when you are feeling distracted or that I am far away. I am not. I never am. Trust that love guides you, love chases you, love equips you. I am in you. I never leave.
As we grow and mature in faith, it’s important to, at some point, come to know Holy Spirit, personally. Now, I get it. The prospect of that may seem a bit daunting. Or the process by which we do it may seem a little unclear. You might be saying, “I know He dwells within my heart, that He guides me, that He offers wisdom and clarity, comfort and strength. But how do I distinguish my relationship with Holy Spirit from the one I have with the Father . . . or with Jesus? And if I have a hard time distinguishing it, how do I deepen it? Where do I even begin?”
That’s okay. Those are great questions. And this endeavour of going deeper with Holy Spirit, like anything having to do with God, is full of mystery and wonder—but it can be a lot of fun too.
So, let’s just jump in and try. Let’s try to get acquainted with Him in a new way today.
First, let’s set a foundation. Remember, each member of the Trinity is the same. The Father is God. The Son is God. And the Holy Spirit is God. But remember too, they are each different. Throughout the Book of John, Jesus distinguishes himself from the Father. They have different identities, different roles, different journeys. And in John Chapters 14, 15, and 16, Jesus distinguishes the third member of the Trinity and speaks about asking the Father to send to us a Helper—the Holy Spirit. Again, different identity, different role.
And because each member is different, our relationships with the Father, and with Jesus, and with Holy Spirit, are going to be different too.
Now, narrowing in on just Holy Spirit, here is what our relationship with Him can look like, according to Scripture: He offers us comfort (John 14:18 ); He can help us recall the truth of God (John 14:26 ); He can bring peace (John 14:27 ); He can guide us and convict us of our sin (John 16:8 ); He can teach us what and how to pray, and even prays for us when we can’t pray for ourselves (Romans 8:26-27 ). He is our Friend—the one we can count on, no matter what (John 14:16 ).
And here again: “You are equipped with the same Spirit in you that shepherded Jesus. No different. You are capable as He was capable while on earth . . .This Spirit in you is your guide, your Friend, your Shepherd who never leaves. He is the whisperer of truth to your heart—and the provider of courage when faith is wavering and perseverance feels impossible . . .Get to know Him, son, daughter. Get to know your Guide who never disappoints, never leaves, never tires, never steers you wrong . . . This is your connection to me—Holy Spirit through Jesus. And it is love that binds the connection . . .Trust Him more than yourself, particularly when you are feeling that I am far away.”
So, let’s do that. Let’s get to know Holy Spirit a bit more—so that we can begin trusting Him more. Let’s acquaint ourselves with Him in a new way by engaging in a visualization exercise right now.
So, God, we consecrate our minds, now. We turn our imaginations over to you. We give you permission to originate the thoughts you want to originate, to bring to mind the pictures you want to create. Amen
Now, just imagine yourself in one of your favorite places—a place where you feel relaxed, a place where you can have fun, where you can be yourself. Take a moment to find the setting.
Ask Holy Spirit to show Himself. In your imagination, in the place you’ve chosen, ask Holy Spirit where He is in the scene. What is He is doing? What is He inviting you to do, with Him?
What happened? What did you see? What did you hear? As we get to know Holy Spirit, as we learn to recognize Him, as we become attuned to His ways, His voice, His nudges, the ways He guides our hearts, our relationship with Him will deepen and we will begin to walk more intimately with Him.
Remember, He is with us, right now. He is always here.
So, stay with Him. Stay present to His presence. There is so much adventure and hope and life ahead.