Paul presents a wonderful prayer to believers in Romans 15:13 which says: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as You trust in Him, so that You may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” There are a lot of questions that people ask about the Holy Spirit, particularly related to how we are led by it and how it works in our lives. The verse from Romans is a great example of the immense power of the Holy Spirit and a great transition into the way the Holy Spirit works in our lives.
An easy way to think of the Holy Spirit is God’s power in action, or an active force in our lives. We are told in Micah 3:8 “But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin,” and in Luke 1:35 “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” In both verses, we see that God sends out the Holy Spirit to accomplish His will. It’s impossible to be a follower of God without being led by the Spirit.
As a believer of Christ, the Holy Spirit is already an active force in your life, leading you and guiding you on your path towards the cross. We are told in Hebrews 9:14 that the Holy Spirit is eternal and in Psalms 139:7 that He is omnipresent. It’s important that we are open to the Holy Spirit working in our lives, and allow the Spirit to guide us in our decision-making so that God and His will for us is at the center of all that we do.
The Holy Spirit plays many roles in our lives. In the Book of John, we are told that Jesus promises the Holy Spirit. In John 14:15-27, Jesus says “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” In this passage, we are told that the Holy Spirit is a source of comfort, particularly when we are hurting. Jesus promises to not leave us as orphans and also promises to bring us peace through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Romans 8:1-17, we are told that the Spirit serves as a guide, helping us to be aware of the sins we commit. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8: 1-4). We are told in these verses that the Holy Spirit counsels us and is a source of consciousness. This is not a temporary counselor, but a counselor that will be with us forever, wherever we go. By sending down the Holy Spirit, God wants us to live not according to the world (this will weaken us), but live according to the Spirit, which will help us live in a way that is pleasing to God. This means that it is important that we are listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, which will never have us do anything that is outside the will of God. Given the hold sin has on us, it’s easy to fall short through the desires of the world and the flesh. But when we listen to the Holy Spirit, we know that we are living according to God’s truth.
If you’re wondering if you are being led by the Spirit, ask yourself if you’re living a life in line with the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 is a great source to understanding what a life in line with the spirit looks like: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Are you reflecting these traits in your own life, or do you feel like these things are missing? If you aren’t, you may be experiencing a sense of brokenness and not listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. If this is an area of weakness, ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life today. Ask the Holy Spirit to abide in you and rest upon you. Open yourself to the Spirit by letting go of fear and timidity and allowing the Spirit to play an active role in your life.