(May 11, 2020) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, shares Pentecostal insights…
May 31 is Pentecostal Sunday, a perfect time to remember that Jesus promised his disciples just before he ascended to heaven that he would not leave them as orphans: He assured them that he would send the Holy Spirit to be with them and in them (John 14:14,18).
The power and reality of this truth is life changing for all who experience it. Jesus said that we must be born again. This is when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us. We are born into a new life that makes us a child of God.
The Spirit desires to lead
Because he is in us, the Holy Spirit can lead us. That is a dimension of life only possible for born again believers. His leading is dependent on factors that quite often affect our lives. I think of some of the factors, such as…
- Hurrying/rushing around
- Missing devotional time
- Lack of prayer.
The Holy Spirit is sensitive to our behaviour, our ability to hear his voice, as well as our choices in life. He is ready to guide us in the path of God’s favour and blessing; however, he will not push or compel.
At times I myself was guilty of rushing, to meet timetables, flights, meetings, conferences, and many other appointments made without due consideration of the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life. I learned the value of giving time to the Lord, to wait, to listen, to reflect on promptings I received and to obey the Lord.
Waiting and listening
Now in my retirement years I spend more and more time waiting and listening. It is not lost time. It is invested time in eternal things. Take time to hear, time to listen and time to understand. Let me remind every reader of who the Holy Spirit is.
The Holy Spirit is a divine being. He is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10); He is omniscient (1Corinthians 2:7-11); He is called the eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9:14).
Peter spoke of the Holy Spirit and God interchangeably in Acts 5:3-4, 9. The Holy Spirit was involved in the creation of the world (Genesis 1:2). There are many other scriptures that establish his power and position, together with the Father and the Son.
Years ago, in my home church (then) Richmond Temple in Bridge Road, Richmond, Victoria, my pastor had good sign writers paint in large old English text three statements in the three large panels at the back of the main church platform…
- ‘Worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth’
- ‘Exalt the Lord Jesus Christ’
- ‘Honour the Blessed Holy Spirit.’
I read these declarations every Sunday with respect and faith.
It would be remiss of me to end here.
The person of the Holy Spirit, as one with the Eternal Father and Son, calls for more about his activity. Briefly I outline his personality traits ((personal characteristics). The Holy Spirit…
- Can be blasphemed (Matthew 12:31-32)
- Teaches (John 14:26)
- Witnesses (John 15:26-27)
- Guides, hears, speaks, tells (John 16:12-13)
- Empowers (Acts 1:8)
- Can be lied to (Acts 5:3)
- Can be resisted (Acts 7:51)
- Gives directions (Acts 10:19-20)
- Can forbid (Acts 16:6-7)
- Intercedes (Romans 8:26).
- Has a mind (Romans 8:27)
- Possesses affection. Paul speaks of ‘the love of the Spirit’ (Romans 15:30)
- Has knowledge: He ‘knows the things of God’ (1Corinthians 2:11)
- Has a will (1 Corinthians 12:11)
- Can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30)
- Can be insulted (Hebrews 10:29).
Challenge and reminder…
In my early years of faith, I was unsure about praying to the Holy Spirit, as some preachers used to quote the point that he does not speak of himself so we should not speak to him. I often wondered about the accuracy of that point of view, but now I simply talk to him as he is God.
We surely need to invite him closer in our praying, our interceding, our worship times. The Lord Jesus has appointed him to be our comforter, our advocate… so I encourage you to do as I do. He will show you more of what Jesus taught by word and example.
There is much more in the scriptures about the ministry and person of the Holy Spirit… I encourage you to be like the Bereans of old who ‘received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true’ (Acts17:11).
Want to know more? Search the scriptures! Talk to the Spirit as you would to God! As encouraged above – take time to hear, listen and understand.
Then follow and serve Jesus, the one who promised the blessing of the Holy Spirit… you’re not an orphan, left all alone (John 14:16,18 above)! The Holy Spirit is with us to assist us reach out in power to the unsaved of the world.
Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary spokesperson with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ (Editorial note: Do keep praying for Dr Forbes as he trusts the Lord for physical victory in his recuperation from medical treatment). Link: Pentecost-Lockdown-and-Chapter-29-Wildfire