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Do you ever get the feeling that the Holy Spirit is at work around you? As I write this blog Pentecost Sunday is on the horizon. (It’s May 23 this year.) Here at Pleasant Valley, speakers have given a series of messages on the Holy Spirit. And in our particular Community Group, we are studying Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Are these simply coincidences—probably not.

Pentecost Sunday commemorates the day the Holy Spirit was poured out on a band of Jesus’ disciples (Acts 2). The Spirit came. Peter preached in the power of the Spirit. People heard the message in their own language, and about three thousand people believed and were baptized. The rest is history, and what a history! The world has not been the same since then.

In a sense Pentecost was the beginning of the church. It completed the disciples’ preparation for work in the Kingdom. For the folks who heard and believed, Pentecost was the touch of the Spirit, the “new birth.” Jesus’ victory over death would now be victory in life as the Spirit transformed, led, and empowered the people of God. Pentecost was a grand, glorious, miraculous day.

And today? Are you and I celebrating the presence of the Spirit in our lives today? Do we know Him by experience? We haven’t forgotten Pentecost or the Holy Spirit. We talk and read and preach about Him, but are we aware of Spirit’s presence or His absence in our day-to-day lives? For many the term “Holy Spirit,” this third person of the Trinity, has simply become a name for a person’s conscience or emotions or some sort of inner feeling. Even when the fruit of the Spirit is evident, circumstances, good fortune, good psychological or physical health are given credit for producing the joy, love, peace, and the other qualities named as evidence of walking with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said He would send the Comforter, the one who comes beside us to teach, lead, and to convict. Jesus sent Him, and that Spirit is here. What is He doing around us and within you and me?

 What might we discover of the Spirit in our lives if we should:

  • Study what the Bible and in particular the New Testament tell us about the Holy Spirit and His work? (Explore such a well-known phrase as “walk by the Spirit” [Galatians 5:25] or the teaching that the Spirit intercedes for us {Romans 8:26].)
  • Think about the spiritual warfare going on around us? (The chaotic “reality” we see is only a part of the struggle Paul mentioned in Ephesians 6:10-12)
  • Devote some time each day this week to reflecting on where we have seen God at work around us? (We typically credit “God” when we see the Holy Spirit doing the work of the Trinity.)
  • Pray for greater sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading, to His presence and His absence?

The Spirit of God is among us to encourage, sustain, empower, and lead us. Therefore, as Gary Burge, an evangelical commentator on the Gospel of John, wrote “we must always be on the alert to see if we are linked to the spiritually unpredictable Holy Spirit of God.”

1 Gary Burge, The NIV Application Commentary: John, (Grand Rapids, MI., Zondervan Publishing , 2000) 132.

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