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hope for churches in stress


The Holy Spirit, like the wind, is impossible to see but evident in the visible effects (John 3:8). Anyone who is unfamiliar with—or uneasy about—the Holy Spirit can take a step toward understanding by observing what occurs when the Spirit “moves.”

The breadth of the Holy Spirit’s activity in the Old Testament era may come as a surprise.

  • When the “Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon” Samson, he became extraordinarily strong (Judges 14:5-6).

  • Bezalel was filled with “the Spirit of God” and created beautiful works of art (Exodus 35:30-35).

  • When “the Spirit of the Lord came mightily” upon David, he became a brilliant leader and an inspired poet and musician, a rare combination.

  • The Spirit of the Lord rested on Elisha, and the prophet amazed Israel with miracles (2 Kings 4:1-6:7).

  • The Spirit gave Joseph and Daniel the ability to interpret dreams (Genesis 37-41; Daniel 2-5). Awed by Joseph’s interpretations and administrative genius, Pharaoh exclaimed, “Can we find such a man as this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” (Genesis 41:38).

  • Israel’s prophets spoke boldness and confidence because, as Micah explained, “But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord” (Micah 3:8).

  • A young girl, Mary, was filled with the Holy Spirit and joyous praises welled up within her, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior (Luke 1:35; 46-55).

To be moved by the Spirit, as these persons were, was an exceptional privilege. They became prophets, kings, and heroes. That same wind, Jesus says, moves on us (John 3:8). With such a wide span of abilities and gifts as precedent, what might the Holy Spirit intend to do in you?

This post begins a series, "Sketches of the Spirit." To advance to the second post, click on the title, "Panorama."

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