The Holy Spirit

Francis Chan has a remarkable book called Forgotten God, one of the best books I’ve read about the Holy Spirit.

To say the Holy Spirit is a touchy topic is putting it mildly. People in general tend to go to one of two extremes. Either folks go to hyperemotionalism and experience devoid of doctrine or they practically deny His existence and never speak of Him.

And I did say “Him” and not “It.” The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force a la “May the force be with you” from Star Wars fame. He is just as much of a person as either God the Father or God the Son. He can be grieved, full of joy, and can remind us of the truths Jesus taught us.

I heard a really good reminder. The Holy Spirit isn’t mystical as much as He is practical. Everything He does isn’t so much to get us to feel as much as it is to do and to be. More specifically, to conform our character to Christ’s and build up the Kingdom of God.

True worship, as well as all other aspects of faith, involve spirit and truth, the heart and the mind, emotion and intellect. It’s folly to devote yourself to one exclusively to the detriment of the other.

There’s an old saying that goes like this: “Too much Word and not enough Spirit you puff up. Too much Spirit and not enough Word you blow up. With the Word and the Spirit together, you grow up.”

I agree with that in terms of finding a balance between emotion and intellect. I would argue however that the Spirit is not in opposition to the Word. The Holy Spirit of God will always illuminate and confirm the Word of God. He will never go against that Word, but bring clarity and interpretation and application.

As with most spiritual matters, I don’t claim to have expertise or command of the subject. There is so much I don’t know and don’t understand, so much I never will this side of heaven. But that shouldn’t ever stop me from seeking and growing and learning.

And I recommend that Francis Chan book if you get the chance to read it some time.