Jesus had said that the Kingdom of God was like a small seed. He had planted it to grow and change the world.
He told his followers that God would send the Holy Spirit to continue to promote the growth of the Kingdom of God after he returned to heaven.
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God. (John 14:16-17)
The Holy Spirit is the unseen but active presence of God in the world.
What Does the Holy Spirit Do?
The Holy Spirit makes the presence of God felt on earth: sometimes dramatically and miraculously; often gently and quietly. The Spirit works in the hearts of people to awaken them to the truth of Jesus. The Spirit helps people to grow to be like Jesus.
The Apostle Paul writes:
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Means of Grace
Very often the Bible compares the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit to the wind. We cannot control or manipulate the Holy Spirit any more than we can control the wind. Nevertheless, there are spiritual practices that can open our lives to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes these practices are called ‘sacraments’ or ‘means of grace’. They include:
- The Lord’s Super or Holy Communion
- Participation in Christian Community
- Silence and Solitude
- Praise and Thanksgiving
- Studying the Bible
- Living Simply and Sustainably
- Prayer with the Laying on of Hands
Filled with the Spirit
In the Book of Acts, we read that people were filled with the Holy Spirit when the church leaders prayed for them with the laying on of hands.
If you want to experience God’s presence in a tangible way, don’t be afraid to pray be filled with the Holy Spirit. And don’t be afraid to ask for prayer with the laying on of hands.
Above all, don’t settle for knowing about God when the Holy Spirit will enable you to encounter God for yourself.