What’s the Matter with the Holy Spirit?

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What’s the matter with the Holy Spirit?

On Sunday, May 20, we will once again celebrate Pentecost, when God sent his Holy Spirit. That Spirit empowered Christ’s disciples and changed them from being fearful of the governing authorities and uncertain about Jesus and their faith in him, to being bold and confident, proclaiming Christ openly for all to hear against the orders of the Jewish leaders, and performing miracles that they never dreamed of doing before. If God’s Holy Spirit did that for them then, why doesn’t the Holy Spirit do that for us now?

In a recent article, our LCMC Service Coordinator, Mark Vander Tuig, wrote, “There is no doubt about the power of the Word to transform lives, about the work and effect of the Holy Spirit, or about the power of the name of Jesus.” Wouldn’t you agree? So what’s the problem? We are not seeing the same effect in our world today as those first disciples saw on that first Pentecost, and the days and years following. So what’s wrong?

Titus 3:5-8a says, “He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is sure!” If we cannot deny the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Baptized, and we cannot deny the power of the Spirit, then more of the Spirit’s work and effects should be visible among us.

Could it be that we’re just too cautious when it comes to God’s Holy Spirit? We like to be in control of things, at least as much as possible, and the Spirit just simply does not allow us to control Him! Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3, “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Just try to control the wind, especially at hurricane and tornado levels! God’s Holy Spirit is going to do what God wants! The best we can do is be available to cooperate, and not get in the way of the Spirit’s work. Is that the problem, that we hinder the Spirit?

God has given us the Means of Grace through which the Holy Spirit makes us believers and empowers us with his gifts for ministry. There’s nothing wrong with that! Vander Tuig concludes his article, “The disciples experienced enormous change after the death and resurrection of Jesus. This new future came with a promise that Jesus would be with them, the Holy Spirit would be given to all and God would lead, guide and direct. We have the same promise. No matter what the future brings, it is in the hands of Almighty God, and this is enough for us to face with confidence the days to come!”

With courage and confidence, pray that the Holy Spirit works through you. Romans 8 tells us the Holy Spirit will even pray for you! Put yourself in the hands of God’s Spirit! We have nothing to lose, and God has the world to gain!

Pastor Kurt Wandrey