The word "Spirit" is from the Latin spiritus meaning "breath". In the Old testament word Spirit in Hebrew is רוּחַ (ruach). In the language Jesus spoke Aramaic it is rûacḥ. The Greek translation of the Old Testament and New Testament it is πνεῦμα (pneuma).
The term, "Holy Ghost", comes from Old English translations of spiritus.
It is like a power that can take possession of you, with spiritual manifestations like healings and prophecies. Gods Spirit is immanent in the universe, and in us as our soul and life-giving energy.
In Hebrew it literally means literally means "spirit of the holiness" or "spirit of the holy place".
It is the Spirit who gives the followers of Jesus spiritual gifts, that transformed the disciples from a cowering group to be dynamic messengers of the Christian faith.
But how do we receive the Spirit? The Holy Spirit is present with us from the moment we choose to turn to God, usually when we realize the limit of our own resources and shortcomings. There are times when we experience anointings of Gods Spirit and we can ask God to send his Spirit to help us.
Without the Spirit we are like members of a voluntary group. It is the Spirit that marks us out, inspires us and gives us that 5th dimension. It is the Spirit that gives life to the churches and without it we are like hollow shells (white anted).
The Holy Spirit is like Gods breath in our lives. It can be gentle or drive us to do something new, something different. Acts 2.
The Holy Spirit is like a fire! It’s like a furnace that purifies us and rids us of impure presence in our lives. Isaiah 6.
With Gods Spirit in our lives we turn away from what is destructive in our lives (Gal 5v19-21).
It manifests in our lives through love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23). We become at peace with ourselves, God and others.
"One night I was working at one of the clubs we ran in the West-End and I hit this guy with my knuckleduster, but when I hit him he fell straight back and smashed his head on the curb. I could see blood everywhere and people around started screaming, so I left the scene and I remember being in my car on the way home thinking, ‘I could get ten years for this.’ Slowly it came to me that I might have just killed someone and I don’t even care. I used to care I used to want to make a difference but here I was just taking and destroying everyone around me. The only person I cared about was myself and I didn’t think that would ever change.
I came home and I heard a voice speaking to me in my heart, it is a voice we all know, our conscience, God within us. Up to his point, I felt God was just a nice little story to keep us from being bad, but now I was faced with the fact that God was real and it didn’t matter what I thought.
Though I was never aware of God’s love or presence in my life up to this point, in one moment I felt Him withdraw Himself from me. People say that separation from God is hell, well if that was hell I pray that no one ever goes there because it was the most terrifying experience in my life. I had people put guns to my head, I had been stabbed but this was terrifying because I was fully aware of the choices I had made. I cried out to God for another chance not because I was sorry, but because I did not want to stay in the desolation I was experiencing. Right then I felt lifted up, I walked out of my flat and said the first prayer I had ever said in my life. I said, ‘Up to now all I have done is taken from you God, now I want to give.’ As I said that prayer that emptiness within my heart which the drugs, power and relationships could not satisfy was filled with the love of God. I could not believe God could love someone like me with all the terrible things I had done, but He kept showing me that He loved me and accepted me. All throughout my life I had felt useless and it didn’t matter if I lived or died, but God showed me that it did matter because He loved me and created me". (John Pridmore)
That was the Spirit!
So pray for the Spirit as individuals and as churches. We need it!
1. We need to grow together in love.
2. To support one another to turn away from what is destructive
3. To lean on God and pray so we Gods presence in our lives.
"If you believe and I believe and we together pray the Holy Spirit must come down and set Gods people free..." African hymn
Let us pray together for Gods Spirit, in our own lives and the life of the church and in our communities.