Today’s reading is drawn from John 14:16-17, Acts 2:6-12, Acts 4:13, and Romans 8:27.
The Bible makes it clear that there is no way we can live our Christian faith without the Holy Spirit as our guide.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is like turning on a light bulb. It’s powerful. Sudden. When the disciples first experienced the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they were forever changed, and people around them noticed this change. According to Acts 4:13, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished.”
Imagine going from ordinary fishermen to seminary grads to pastors in an instant. Also note in Acts 2:6 ñ 12 that the disciples spoke different languages — actual languages. Talk about amazing! It was so amazing that the people thought they were drunk. So how do you and I know if we have been filled with the Holy Spirit?
The Bible says the Holy Spirit is like an advocate. He speaks truth to us. He guides our path. He also prays for us and intercedes on our behalf. I don’t know about you, but none of that sounds spooky or scary about this Holy Spirit. It sounds exciting. Necessary.
What I appreciate most about the Holy Spirit is the transformation that takes place when God chooses ordinary people to do extraordinary tasks. No matter what you believe about the Holy Spirit, the Bible makes it clear: there is no way we can live our Christian faith without the Holy Spirit as our guide.
That’s why Jesus knew his physical presence on earth wasn’t enough. He told the apostle Peter that the cross was necessary. Peter, the leader of the disciples, was the kind of guy who was full of courage, and yet he kept sticking his foot in his mouth. One minute he was thinking like Christ, and the next minute Jesus was rebuking him, saying he was full of Satan.
And yet. God still used Peter as a disciple for his glory. When Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome went to visit Jesus’ tomb, the angel specifically mentioned Peter by name (see Mark 16:7). As if to remind Peter that his faith, in fact, hadn’t failed.
No matter how weak, strong or courageous your faith is today, the Holy Spirit is waiting for you. Come. Draw near to his presence.
Have you ever felt like your actions discount you from relying on the Holy Spirit’s help?