Pursuing Encouragement Through the Holy Spirit

Trinity with Crown, Cross, and DoveThe church I attended from birth to age 18 talked a lot about the Holy Trinity with most of the focus being on God. We also tossed around Jesus’ name some but mostly just at Christmas and Easter. We really talked very little about the Holy Spirit and then only as the name for the third part to the Trinity.

My lack of early learning about the Holy Spirit resulted partly from a gap in the teaching received and partly from me not paying attention. (Mis-remembering might be at play some too.) For whatever reason, the Holy Spirit simply was not only my spiritual radar until my late 20s.

When I discovered what Scripture said about the Holy Spirit, though, the embers were stirred, the flame flickered, and I realized two things:

  1. The Holy Spirit had been active throughout my life. In fact, we’re filled with the Holy Spirit at salvation (1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 8:9 and Ephesians 1:13-14). I could actually look back and point to His activity throughout the years.
  2. I missed out on what the Holy Spirit offers largely because of my own ignorant resistance.

What does the Holy Spirit offer?The Flame in Yellow and Orange

“And I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor-Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever… you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17, AMP)

For the first 3/4 of my life, the Holy Spirit seemed like this mystical, other-world being. Actually, we called Him the Holy Ghost, and He really did seem like a ghostly sort of figure to me. Certainly out of reach and definitely not a comforter, advocate, intercessor, counselor or strengthener.

When I discovered the Holy Spirit’s role and looked back on my life and saw Him fulfilling that role even when I didn’t look to Him, I wondered…

How can I have even more Holy Spirit activity in my life?

“ Do not quench [subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

In other words, the Holy Spirit is on always ready to comfort, advocate, intercede, counsel and strengthen, and I just need to not push that help away or get in His way. I simply must choose to walk according to the Spirit’s leading.

Personally, I “subdue” (other versions use “quench,” “stifle” and “extinguish”) the Holy Spirit when I get too busy, become overwhelmed or put my focus anywhere but on God. Conversely, when I purpose to spend regular time with Him through studying the Bible, spending time in His creation and fellowshipping with other Christians, I more clearly and more often “hear” the Holy Spirit.

So, pursuing encouragement through the Holy Spirit involves making God a priority every day. It involves not letting my life get so busy I can’t hear or don’t recognize His promptings amidst all the other noise. And it involves trusting Scripture and relying upon it as the guide for my life and the main tool the Holy Spirit uses to interact with me.

DISCUSSION: How does the Holy Spirit exist as an encourager in your life?

13 thoughts on “Pursuing Encouragement Through the Holy Spirit

  1. I continue to need to grow in my understanding of how the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost works. I do believe it provides me with comfort and strength and guides me as I seek to do God's will. I believe it is the "still small voice" that I hear when I turn to God. Thanks for this thoughtful post.

  2. Sounds like you and I had the same upbringing related to our knowledge of the Holy Spirit.
    I think many Christians are deficient in this area.
    I know I have much to learn about the Holy Spirit.
    About five years ago my eyes began to be opened to what I was missing by leaving Him out of my Christian walk. I'm so thankful that I'm learning and growing. Having the Holy Spirit be active in my life has been crucial to not only my maturing but also my desire to want to spend time with God.
    The Holy Spirit us in us and that Spirit WANTS to spend time with God. Perhaps that's why Satan works so hard to have Christians ignore the Holy Spirit. Without Him we are crippled and we don't even know it. We need Him.
    My recent post Returning from Maternity Leave

    • I agree, TC. I think many Christians really have no idea of the purpose of the Holy Spirit. For me, that was because I never read Scripture in depth enough to focus there. It really does start with God's Word. I also think it's more of a lac of awareness that causes Christians to "ignore" the Spirit. The more we are aware of His presence, the less we can ignore Him. I'm proposing to be more outspoken (as much as my personality allows :-)) about the Holy Spirit, if that makes sense.

  3. For me the Holy Spirit is like a best counselor in the world, he gives me comfort when I need it, reminds me of important things, and listens better then anyone I know. In fact I trust Him better then anyone I know, he knows the most intimate details of my mind and life yet still loves me and is patience. The longer I walk with him the most I trust him, the more I want to listen to him. Great post Kari.

  4. Re-reading this post,
    I wanted to update you on how I've been growing closer to the Holy Spirit. I talk to Him now as I do God and Jesus. As I pray, I use all three names. I hadn't realized that I was ignoring Him by not including Him in my prayer life. I feel closer to Him as I speak to Him as my friend and not just a friend of a friend.
    Does that make sense?

    • Makes perfect sense. Reflects my own experiences. The Holy Spirit is too often neglected, and He is a gift from Jesus that is so necessary for us to run the race with perseverance (or whatever else Scripture instructs).

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