What People Think About the Holy Spirit
In the previous chapter, we laid the foundations upon which we will build our teachings. In this chapter, we will discuss the personality of the Holy Spirit.
During my travels to various locations in Burkina Faso, Africa, and Europe, I encountered many people with whom I exchanged thoughts. From these interactions, I discovered certain things about them, especially regarding their character, faith, and convictions. Questions related to the Holy Spirit divide opinions. Based on my interactions, I identified four groups of Christians.
The first group of Christians believes that the time of the Holy Spirit is over. For them, the Holy Spirit manifested only during the times of the apostles and the early church. They argue that after that time, the Holy Spirit ceased to act, yet they regularly attend church!
The second group of Christians consists of those who, while believing in the existence of the Holy Spirit, assert that God grants His Spirit to people with specific positions or titles: apostles, evangelists, pastors, doctors, etc. According to this group, the Holy Spirit does not work with everyone. It selectively chooses individuals and does not align with every heart.
The third group of Christians rejects the Holy Spirit, claiming that it destroys churches and causes confusion. These Christians do not feel connected to the Holy Spirit in any way. They engage in church activities, read the Bible, but shut their doors and windows to the Holy Spirit.
The fourth and last group of Christians is composed of those who thirst for God, desire His anointing with all their hearts, and ardently long to see the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. However, they seem stuck in one place, refusing to move. They often rely on the same Bible verse: Acts 1:8. This verse states :
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
90% of Christians fall into this group. For them, the Holy Spirit is reduced to a power. It is futile to try to change their position. This includes some servants of God. They can go for several months without mentioning the Holy Spirit. When they want to share a revelation received during prayer, they might say, for example, “During prayer, something told me that…”. You will never hear them talk about the Holy Spirit. In their words, they speak more about power or something that acts within them. The Holy Spirit, for them, has the same effect as electricity, putting some people into a trance. They do not believe that the Holy Spirit can do anything else.
I pose this question to you: do you truly believe that the Holy Spirit is simply a power? Who is He? Defined or undefined? Far be it from me to accuse anyone. My goal is to provoke a deep reflection to arrive at a clear answer. I myself believed for five years that the Holy Spirit was only a power because predecessors and mentors in the faith taught me so since my conversion.
I heard many times: “Seek the power,” but I rarely heard: “Ask for the Holy Spirit.” I naively absorbed all the incomplete teachings on the Holy Spirit. I asked few questions. When someone close tried to make me understand otherwise, I rebelled and took offense against that person. I felt the tension rise at times like the mercury in a thermometer under the heat. However, one day, the Holy Spirit referred me to Psalm 32:8-9, which says:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.“
Biblical verses, my thirst for knowledge, and lived experiences helped dispel the smokescreen of ignorance on my path. Gradually, I understood significant revelations.
Despite the numerous miracles the Lord allowed me to perform by His grace, I had a fairly limited knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Miracles, such as raising the dead, healing the paralyzed and the blind, etc., did not determine the discovery of the Holy Spirit, as John 16:7 says:
“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.”
The Holy Spirit is not a power or energy that overwhelms us. He is also not to be confused with water, wind, oil, dove, fire, etc., even though He can be symbolized by these elements. The questions I asked, others are asking today. This chapter is treated with the aim of providing clarification on the areas of ambiguity. This leads us to explore the Bible to discover who the Holy Spirit truly is.
This text is an excerpt from the book “The New Discovery of the Holy Spirit ” written by Prophet Emmanuel SAWADOGO.