The Visible Holy Spirit

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‘Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.’ (Acts 2:33)

Wind_of_Holy_SpiritWinter is approaching here in Melbourne Australia, and looking outside my window, I see the trees waving in the wind. I can hear the sound of the breeze blowing through the branches.

Although we cannot see air itself, its existence is revealed by what we see and hear. The stronger the wind, the more it affects the environment.

It is the same with the Holy Spirit.

Unlike the wind, however, the Spirit of God is a Person—and that which we see and hear is the result of His Presence.

Clothed with Power from on High

“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

The picture of Moses’ Tabernacle reminds us that God’s purpose for us is not only to be filled with the Presence of His Holy Spirit, but also to be clothed with His Spirit. That He would not only be within us for our own sake, but would also be God’s Presence evident upon us, for the sake of the world.

Throughout the Bible, when the Spirit of God came upon God’s people, that empowering came with evidence—something seen and heard:

  • When the Spirit of God came upon the elders of Israel, they prophesied (Number 11:24-27)
  • When the Spirit came upon Balaam, he prophesied God’s favour over Israel (Number 24:2-9
  • When the Spirit of God came upon Gideon, he blew a trumpet (Judges 6:34)
  • When the Spirit of God came upon Saul, he prophesied. (1 Sam 19:19-24)
  • When the Spirit of God came upon Amasai, he proclaimed allegience to David  (1 Chron 12:18)
  • When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost, the sound of a rushing wind was heard, and tongues of fire were seen over each believer. As they were filled they began to praise God in the languages of the pilgrims visiting Jerusalem. (Acts 2)
  • When the Spirit of God came upon the early church during a prayer meeting, the building shook, and they spoke God’s word boldly (Acts 4:31)

Notice that the above examples include ungodly men who simply got ‘in the way’ of the Holy Spirit. (Balaam and Saul) Let’s believe for non-believers and backsliders to encounter Holy Spirit’s Presence and to have an opportunity to commit their lives to Jesus.

Not just Initial Evidence, but an Ongoing Experience

Just as the pillar of cloud of God’s Presence journeyed with Israel throughout the wilderness, the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s Presence upon His people was never meant to be just a one-off display, but an ongoing experience.

It is the nature of the Holy Spirit that His Presence and activity be seen and heard. Jesus is made known and the Father’s purposes are accomplished—His Kingdom established on earth. (Acts 3:16, Matt 6:10)

How is the Holy Spirit’s Presence Manifested?

Following are just some of the ways that the Holy Spirit’s Presence and activity were experienced in the New Testament and that we can expect to occur today:

1. The Spirit’s impact on the hearts of people and their consequent actions—such as conviction leading to repentance. (Acts 2:37)

2. Through the use of spiritual gifts. ‘Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good’ (1 Cor 12:7) The Greek word translated manifestation, phaneroo, means to make visible and clear. [1]

3. Through the fruit of the Holy Spirit evident in the lives of God’s people, especially when it is recognised as being beyond what is humanly natural. Examples include unity (John 17:23), acts of service, love, and the expression of God’s grace to the poor. (Luke 4:18)

4. Through supernatural communication from God, including prophecies, dreams and visions. (Acts 2:17)

5. Unusual manifestations of His Presence. (e.g. wind, fire, earthquake, Acts 2:2-3, 4:31)

6. The sense of His Presence and anointing for a timely purpose (Luke 5:17b)

7. Through God’s power being released to effect healing, deliverance and other miracles in Jesus’ Name (Luke 4:18)

8. Through signs accompanying the preaching of the Gospel (Mark 16:20)

‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to…’ (Is 61:1) A quick study of the above tells us that the move of the Spirit requires our participation. Firstly, we need to be filled with, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. And then, we partner with Him, whether it be through speaking out God’s word, through listening, prayer, or obedience.

And yet, no amount of self effort on our part will achieve a move of God.

The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal power, or force, at our command—He is a Person, with a will and desire. As sons and daughters of God’s royal Kingdom, we carry authority, but this can only be exercised with humility; knowing that our agenda and timing must become attuned to His.

This past weekend, many of us have observed ‘Pentecost Sunday’—in commemoration of the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. (Acts 2)
Let’s not treat the anointing and power of God as a mystical ‘something,’ but let’s honour the Person and Presence of the Holy Spirit. May we live with the constant expectation of experiencing His Presence and power; that Holy Spirit is at work in our lives and those around us—and as we seek and  join with Him, we will see lives changed and God’s Kingdom extended.


Questions to Consider:

1. What is my expectation concerning the experience of the Holy Spirit with regard to each of the points above?

2. Can I recall to mind times when I have ‘seen and heard’ what the Holy Spirit is doing?

3. Considering the Tabernacle illustration, are people around me able to see the Presence and power of God upon my life? Or does my anticipation of the move of the Holy Spirit only relate to my personal relationship with Him? What would a balance look like?

4. When was the last time I asked God to fill and empower me with His Holy Spirit?


Notes:

[1] Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.


Related Posts:

(The Holy Spirit is) The Greatest Evangelist In The World Today

Pentecost: How God Exploded My Box

Intimacy, Prayer and Releasing God’s Power

How You can have an Intimate Relationship with the Holy Spirit


Can you think of some other ways that the Holy Spirit’s Presence is evident (seen and heard), or do you have a testimony, scripture or poem to share? Leave a comment in the box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

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3 thoughts on “The Visible Holy Spirit

  1. James Goodman

    Hi Helen

    Thanks so much again!

    This timely post today chimed with an experience I’ve just had. Occasionally I get really weird dreams that stick in the mind and seem to be loaded with significance (How is the Holy Spirit Manifested? points 4 & 6). Sometimes too, strange things in the natural (like finding a live, tame canary on our front doorstep) get my attention focused towards God.

    For many years I was ‘fed up’ that I worked in very secular settings whilst friends had ‘gone into full-time ministry’. In the past few years however, I have faced some really intractable and complex problems (challenges!) in the workplace that seemed to defy a solution and leave me feeling quite defeated on a human level: however, I believe God has helped on several occasions with insights, dreams and pictures that have provided a creative solution, that seem to come largely from outside myself, and change my mood and perspective.

    Faced with one such intractable problem and impossible deadline just yesterday, I dreamed last night of finding a bizarrely shaped egg that was fit only for being discarded – in my view. Yet as soon as I thought to discard it, it hatched immediately into a young chick that cried out (!) and latched on to us. On awaking, it was as though a cloud had lifted and a flow of ideas came tumbling out in rapid succession – which were presented today at a meeting, to really positive effect.

    I don’t really ‘get’ dream interpretation, but do find that there are some that seem to break a kind of a deadlock. It also makes me really positive that we can, with God’s help, bring Kingdom dynamics and insights into effect within the workplace and see the miraculous in operation there too.

    With every blessing in Christ

    James

  2. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi James,
    The Holy Spirit does have an amazing way of working, doesn’t He?

    Love the dream about the chick (new things breaking forth out of unexpected places) and the immediate outbreak of new understanding and ideas. Sign from God for you.
    That whole aspect of bringing Kingdom dynamics into the marketplace is something that we, the church, are just starting to get a glimpse of what is available to us.
    Recently I have been preaching about a ‘Joseph Generation’ rising up, and this is part of it… the Kingdom impacting the world and God’s power being seen even at administrative levels.
    Very inspiring, may the flow continue!

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