C.S. Lewis may have said it best, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” Our understanding, perception and acceptance of the work of the Holy Spirit goes a lot more smoothly when we grasp the reality of what Lewis was explaining. We were made by the God who exists outside of the confines of the physical world that he created. At our core, we are spiritual, not physical, beings. But He gave us a physical and perishable body so that we could exist for a short time in the physical and perishable world that He made. This is essentially what Paul says to the Romans, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit . . .” (Romans 8:9a)
But He didn’t just drop us off at the bus stop, so to speak, and then tell us to call when we got back in to town. Notice what Jesus said to His disciples when He was in the upper room with them. “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.’ Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, ‘But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?’ Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:18-23).
This is where our interaction with the Holy Spirit comes into play. Jesus says that He and the Father will make their home with those who love Him. In other words, they live in each Christian through the Holy Spirit. That’s what all the scriptures mean that refer to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at the remainder of Paul’s comments in Romans 8. “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit . . . if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Romans 8:9).
That’s profound. It really is. As a Christian, a follower of Christ and a lover of God, I get the added blessing of having Jesus and the Father making home in my heart (Galatians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). I struggle with comprehending the magnitude and implications of having the Father and Son making a home in my heart through the Holy Spirit.
So what does it mean for us, that we have God the Father living in us—in our hearts? Here’s a list of the tangible blessings from the Holy Spirit, what He does.
- He leads us—Rom 8:14; Gal 5:18
- He helps us in our weakness—Rom 8:26
- He comforts the entire Church—Acts 9:31
- He calls people into ministry—Acts 13:2
- He sends the people that He calls—Acts 13:4
- He equips the people that He sends—Eph 3:14-4:1; Heb 2:4; 1 Cor 12:7