The power of the Holy Spirit both amazes and scares me. Growing up Catholic I always tend to think of the Holy Spirit as the shoulders of the Trinity. You know what I mean…..touch your forehead – Father God; touch your heart – Jesus Messiah; touch your right and your left shoulder – and Holy Ghost. The body of Christ to me has to be formed as a body is and so my body is a great place to start. You don’t really realize how important your shoulders are until you injure one. I remember I was playing softball after we got back from Kazakhstan and I slid into second base headfirst. As I reached out for the base my chest sort of rose up slightly and instead of hitting the bag with my hand and gracefully wrapping my hand around it, my right shoulder slammed so hard into the base that I knocked it out of socket. I was able to pop it back in but third base was now out of the question as I couldn’t throw the ball two feet away. So many other things started feeling horrible after a shoulder injury and I constantly felt off. So now bring my Catholic Holy Spirit analogy back into the picture. What happens when we hurt the Holy Spirit? Basically we throw the whole balance thing out of whack.
Ephesians 4 is an amazing chapter and if you start in verse 17 and then travel through the passage to the end you will travel through some great tips for Christian or Jesus following living. There is this one really cool passage though. Starting in verse 29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may help those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” It’s right there, did you see it? We can injure, harm, but what does it really mean to “grieve the Holy Spirit of God”? Some synonyms of grieve are “lament, weep, bewail, bemoan, suffer. These words imply showing suffering caused by sorrow. Grieve is the stronger word, implying deep mental suffering often endured alone and in silence but revealed by one’s aspect.” (Dictionary.com) Take this passage a little deeper with the full meaning of grieve in there and suddenly I begin to know why I feel off balance sometimes and out of sorts. When I let talk come out of my mouth that is criticizing or hurtful or anything that does not build others up grieves the Holy Spirit, literally causes the Holy Spirit to endure a deep mental suffering that is revealed by the Holy Spirit not being able to hold up the weight of what I am doing to others. That kind of makes me think a little deeper about what comes out of my mouth.
I think of the words in the song “Holy of Holies” where it says “take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am.” Maybe this is why the Holy Spirit amazes and scares me. I am amazed because I have literally in the past been glued to the floor by the Holy Spirit as God decided to heal wounds deep inside of me and the only way He could do it was to literally floor me with His power. I have been in meetings where the presence of the Holy Spirit was so over powering that you couldn’t stand on your feet, you were either on your face in front, on your knees or laid flat-out. And the Holy Spirit never once took advantage of me or people I knew that were experiencing the Holy Spirit in the same way I was. There are many days where I want the clean, pure touch of the Holy Spirit to fall on me once again so I can be healed of the brokenness that keeps me from stepping into the glorious future I know my Father God has already set before me. And this is where the Holy Spirit scares the crud out of me because see I know that the Holy Spirit is so powerful that He literally could fall upon me in a fresh way that has nothing to do with who I am or what I am doing, where I am running or what I am running from or to. That scares me because there is literally no place on this amazing earth that I can hide from the Holy Spirit. There isn’t a trail in the middle of a National Forest that can hide me from the Holy Spirit and I’m not really sure I want to hide from the Holy Spirit.