December 9, 2010

Spirit


Do not cast me away from Your presence, 
and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 
~Isaiah 57

Some of the best science fiction hinges upon an unseen force or entity that gives power and abilities that enable characters to accomplish incredible things against impossible circumstances.  Great heroes of our imagination and literature possess bravery, courage and super-natural tenacity that most of us can only dream of.  But, the Scriptures give us clear references to an unseen source of power and guidance; a force that is above any that we mere humans could possibly create in our imaginations.  That power, a true force to be reckoned with, is the Ruach HaKodesh - the Holy Spirit of the Living G-d.

For most of us, the thought of the Holy Spirit is a mystery.  Somehow, G-d the Father, Yeshua Messiah the Son and the Holy Spirit is the holy triad of direction - the final decision makers in the life of the believer. We attempt to put the vastness of the godhead into finite terms so our meager minds can grasp it.  You have heard these analogies from learned minds, I'm sure.  Described as water in different forms (gas, liquid, solid), somehow the same but different, all of the same substance as it were.  I suppose this is one way to look at it; but for me, I prefer to hold it as a mystery.  I don't need to know how the Father enabled the Son to be embodied as a man, nor how He puts His Spirit within the believer...or further, how those three are actually One.  Thankfully, there is one thing that is not a mystery to me, and that is the Holy Spirit is the very essence of the Almighty - His will and His voice.  The Comforter.  Just as we created souls have a spirit within us - the very essence of who we are - so does the Holy One.  And it humbles me greatly to think that He freely gives His very Spirit, willingly living within us, to those that humbly ask.

He said to them, " Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?  And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." 
~Acts 19
And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of G-d with boldness.
~Acts 4
He (Yeshua) is the one whom G-d exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.  And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom G-d has given to those who obey Him.
~Acts 5
And why would He want to give us His very essence, His Spirit?  For those of us that are diligently seeking to do the will of the LORD, we desperately need the Spirit of G-d within us.  It is true that in our own strength alone we cannot stand, act or say anything that is righteous or good.  We are helplessly weak and sinful, at best...wicked and arrogant, at worst.  We are most certainly blessed to have the written Word, the Scriptures (the Torah, Prophets and the Apostolic writings), it is true.  However, I suggest that we cannot even put anything we read there into practice without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.

...for the kingdom of G-d is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
~Romans 14
...for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from G-d.
~2 Peter 1
You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.
~Acts 7

As members of the assembly of believers, the Holy Spirit gifts us with some of those dreamed about super-natural powers.  Some He gifts with great faith, others with wisdom as they request, and still others with measures of compassion and the ability to shepherd.  We are to ask for these special gifts, and when they are given, He expects believers to use them to help and serve the body, His people.  It would be our first inclination to be proud of what we possess, somehow thinking we obtained it by our own power.  We tremble in the position of acting out His will in our lives, fearing that we are weak and may stumble.  However, it is our solemn responsibility to use what He gives us as talents and special abilities to reach out to others, to love and support them and be available when needed.  We are to trust He will enable us at the right moments, to say, do and serve in a way that pleases Him.

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of G-d which He purchased with His own blood.
~Acts 20
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I (Yeshua) said to you.
~John 14
When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.
~Mark 13

And so we walk and assemble as believers, coming together to worship the One True G-d.  It is an awesome thing to witness and experience the move of the Holy Spirit in a group of believers; praise freely given, hands raised, hearts filled and possibly tears flowing in acknowledgment of the One who gives all good things to those who bow in humility before Him.  However, it is also disheartening, even terrifying, to watch the demise of focus and purpose in a group of believers that have allowed sin, pride...even self-righteousness and judgment, to seep into their midst.  The only solution is to humbly pray for forgiveness, guidance and compassion towards one another and to honestly work to restore that which has been destroyed.  The Holy Spirit awaits the prayers of these souls, hoping to come in and cleanse, purify and rebuild - to fill their lives and hearts with love, wisdom and grace - to once again fill their worship with passion, meaning and fervor.

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.
~Acts 10
And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
~Acts 13
G-d also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
~Hebrews 2

I pray for the Holy Spirit to enliven us all once again.  To fill us and enable us to love each other with the compassion the Father has for us all - those that call upon His name.  For it is only by His strength and power that we can reach out to each other and truly make a difference.  I beg the LORD to enrich us in this way.

At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight."
~Luke 10
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from G-d, and that you are not your own?
~1 Corinth 6

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