[This is an imaginative interview with the Holy Spirit, based on scripture.]
Q: As Christians, we read about you but there’s a lot more emphasis on Jesus and God the Father in most churches. What would you like us to know about you, as an introduction?
I understand that emphasis. And I’m perfectly comfortable with being in the background. There is no competition in my relationship with the Father and Jesus. So, let me address your question.
First, I’m fully God but I’m a different person from Jesus and God the Father. (Isaiah 48:16-17) The three of us have been in intimate community since before time began and we enjoy an incredible loving relationship of joy together. That’s why we are looking forward to spending eternity with you.
Second, I’m on a mission right now. For the last two thousand years, I’ve been given the task of working inside millions of Christians to empower them and transform them to be like my best friend, Jesus. (John 15:26) I love doing this because I see so many sad and enslaved people coming alive and breaking free from their sinful behaviors, thoughts and emotions. (John 16:13) Nothing gives us (and the angels) more joy than you joining the family.
In fact, when you placed your trust in Jesus, as your personal savior and Lord, I immediately moved in and made myself at home inside of you. (Ezekiel 36:27) No big fireworks, just a quick spiritual reboot. It was necessary because you were “dead in your sins”. (Ephesians 2:1) Jesus took care of your sin issue on the cross (there’s lots to say about that) and I did some overtime work to get you to seek Him. As a result, you repented and we are now united with you 24×7.
Of course, being a spirit, you can’t see me, so that can be challenging. Like the wind, I move as I need. You can sense me, like the wind but rarely see what I’m doing until it is done. All of this makes me a bit mysterious. And that probably makes you wonder. With all of this mystery, “How does one know if the Holy Spirit is working in me?” So let’s explore that answer because it may surprise you.
First a caution. If you think you feel me, that might be the pizza from last night. Or if you have this wild thought that might not be me either. I can do all of that but you would be surprised how much I like doing life-change differently from your expectations. I’m not one to stay in your box. So what is the primary evidence of my presence?
There is one fool-proof way to recognize me and my work in you. Just look at your desires. (James 4:1-3) Probably not what you expected, right?
Yet our desires say everything about us. If there’s one thing that doesn’t change, it’s the desires of sinful people. Remember how you were? Desiring things that led to a focus on achievement, using others, being greedy, experiencing regular anger and constantly trying to feed your selfishness? (Galatians 5:20-21) Each of you was driven by the same old sinful desires… (1 John 2:16) that we’ve seen for millenia.
That’s where I come in. I started working in your heart (i.e. “desire factory”) to make updates. (Romans 8:9) That’s why every Christian regularly finds new godly desires arising inside. Those desires work their way out and result in a change appearing in outward decisions, thoughts and beliefs. The old is out, the new is in. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Examples? A fresh desire to know more about Jesus. A desire to repent for sin. A desire to love and forgive despite your feelings. A hunger for God’s word, to understand it and to apply it. A desire to stop doing some things and start doing other things. A desire to spend time with other Christians. A growing desire to serve others without recognition or reward. A desire to share with others what I was doing in you.
These new desires vary by the person because I work individually. The important thing to realize is that I’m going for lasting change in you, because we have eternity to consider. Changing the outside is like putting paint on a rotting building. I’m only going to focus on the eternal part of you.
Changing human hearts does take some time in this broken world we are working in. But the end result is that the old desires which lead to death/isolation, lose their power. Instead, you find new godly desires, rising up inside, that lead you to life/love/intimacy.
Yes, you still battle with old desires, but the secret is that they have no real power over you anymore. Plus as you put the old desires to death, you experience more and more freedom. (Romans 8:13) These new desires, from me, bring a happiness and joy (Romans 14:17) that you’ve never experienced before, even when you are in a struggle.
So, if you are seeing new godly desires at work in you, it’s me working in and through you. (Philippians 2:13)
First, thank you for your words, they’ve already encouraged me to recognize your constant work in me. Would you be willing to join us next week for some more questions?
Of course! But I recommend you read the scriptures above to confirm everything I’ve said.
Share your answer(s) with your spouse to get the most benefit!
What are some new “godly” desires you have experienced as a Christian, that would have been crazy before the Holy Spirit moved in your life?