The Holy Spirit is the shy member of the Trinity. His ministry is to point away from himself to the wonder of God the Son and God the Father. Being filled with the Spirit means being filled with love for Christ. When Jesus promised the Spirit (in John 16:14), he said, “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” The Spirit is shy; he is self-effacing. When we look toward him, he steps back and pushes forward Jesus Christ.
Therefore, in seeking to be filled and empowered by the Spirit, we must pursue him indirectly. we must look to the wonder of Christ. If we look away from Jesus and seek the Spirit and his power directly, we will end up in the mire of our own subjective emotions. The Spirit does not reveal himself. The Spirit reveals Christ. The fullness of the Spirit is the fullness that he gives as we gaze on Christ. The power of the Spirit is the power we feel in the presence of Christ. The joy of the Spirit is the joy we feel from the promises of Christ. Many of us know what it is to crouch on the floor and cry out to the Holy Spirit for joy and power, and experience nothing; but the next day devote ourselves to earnest meditation on the glory of Jesus Christ and be filled with the Spirit.
Therefore, when the time came for the eternal Son of God to be sent by his Father into the world, the work of the Holy Spirit was a quiet, unobtrusive work in the service of the Father and the Son. Through him the Father caused the Son to be conceived in Mary the virgin. So from the very beginning of Christ’s incarnation the Holy Spirit was quietly doing what needed to be done to put forward Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Saviour of man.
The Quiet Work of the Spirit in the Incarnation
Our first encounter with the Holy Spirit is when He convicts us of our sin, shows us that none of us can live up to the righteousness of Jesus, and reveals to us the judgment that is coming to those who die without a Saviour (John 16:8-11). As we repent, confess our sins and receive the gift of Salvation the Holy Spirit regenerates our dead inner human spirit which now becomes sensitive to the spiritual things of God (John 3:1-16; Acts 2:38).
There is a second work of the Holy Spirit when He baptizes a believer (Acts 2:1-4). It’s available to all (Acts 2:39) and a gift of empowerment, helping the believer to live a holy life. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Helper, we become more like Jesus and are directed to do the Father’s will. Furthermore, the gift is primarily for the empowerment to witness to others (Acts 1:8).
We are encouraged to ask the Holy Spirit to fill us up on a regular basis. When you feel depleted or need strength, ask Him to replenish you (Ephesians 5:18).
It’s not enough to exist with the belief that The Father and the Son are first and the Holy Spirit is secondary. They are equal and work in harmony with each other. The uniqueness of the Holy Spirit is His presence within us. Jesus said before he ascended to heaven that the Holy Spirit would come and dwell within us as a believer. With that, He empowers us to live victoriously for the cause of Christ and glory of the Father.
Written by Elder Dr Blankson Appiah Anning, Asuoyeboa District, Kwadaso Area