It’s the countdown to October’s most popular day: Halloween. It’s a day where kids get all dressed up, candy overflows, and all the pretty pumpkins are picked. And, while I have noticed that year after year the décor and fuss about this day seems to grow, truthfully I am more excited about what follows – Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, Halloween does mark two very cool events in my life: the day my adorable puppy Bailey was born (indeed a perfect treat) and the day I drove home with my first ever car (although my father refused to let me drive it home in fear that too many kids might be out trick-or-treating)! So, while I realize that everyone has an opinion about Halloween – some see no harm in it and others are more cautious of the evil that may surround its history – I want to focus on something that carries the utmost importance. I want to focus on a ghost that we all need in our lives… regardless of the month. The ghost I am referring to is the Holy Ghost and this blog was inspired by a wooden sign that I saw on Pinterest. The sign was placed outside of a resident’s home and read, “The Only Ghost That Lives Here is the Holy Ghost.” Perhaps you may think this is clever, or maybe you think this little saying is cheesy, but regardless of your reaction to it, it poses a great conversation in honor of the trick-or-treating day.
Yes, I want to talk about a ghost, but not the friendly white Casper that you may be picturing in your head. The Holy Ghost, or the Holy Spirit, is a part of the Trinity… but beyond that, most of the time God the Father and His Son, Jesus, receive most of the attention. How exactly does the Holy Spirit fit into the equation?
Do you find yourself praying with the Holy Spirit in mind by asking for guidance in your daily walk or do most of your prayers start much like mine: “Dear God….”The truth is, the Holy Spirit is one of the most valuable gifts we have ever been given, but for so many Christians the Holy Spirit is overlooked in the context of their faith journey. Yet, if we remember back to Jesus’ disciples, we learn that the “plan” after Jesus would ascend to the right hand of the Father was perfectly mapped out with us in mind, leaving us something special behind. This gift would allow us a “Helper” who would act as a “Comforter” and “Intercessor” on our behalf. Therefore, it is safe to say that Jesus’ last gift to mankind was a part of Himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit. So, I have to ask, are you treasuring this gift?
I think that it is very important to start to understand how the Holy Spirit intersects with our everyday life and why this gift is so important. It is so important because what Jesus intended for us to have is a reminder of who He is and how He works in us. Therefore, I would like us to look at a Scripture found in Romans 8 to better understand our need for the Spirit. In fact, this chapter is entitled “Life through the Spirit” and it was written long after Jesus’ departure on earth by the Apostle Paul who fully utilized this precious gift. He proclaims,
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:1-7, NIV)
Here we see the ultimate fight, the trick-or-treat of epic proportions. We see a battle between our sinful flesh, a trick that the enemy entangles us in often, and our desire for God, the treat and treasure of everlasting communion with Him. Notice that the Spirit is associated with a free life, full of peace, and right standing with God. Contrastingly, the flesh is associated with sin, death, and condemnation/guilt. We learn in Romans that we are not fighting alone. We have a great Intercessor that is always with us. In fact, in Romans 8:26 we discover that we have a wonderful promise,
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
We were given help because Jesus knew that life after He left would be challenging. We are promised that when we are weak, we have a prayer partner, the Holy Spirit, who knows the heart of the Father and the love of the Son because He is One with Them. Yet, often times I think we feel as though God is Holy but distant, Jesus is relatable but still a far-off friend and the Holy Spirit is… a mystery. This is a great tragedy because the Trinity was meant to give us a clear picture of how the Three Persons of God are all accessible to us. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is not a mysterious ghost that hovers around saying, “boo” like the Halloween designed party themes. The Holy Spirit is an ever-present source of Help. The Spirit is active in us, making us sensitive towards the things of God, while equipping our inner self to desire righteousness instead of the things that lead to destruction. There is great power in knowing that when we accept Jesus into our lives, we also carry with us the presence of God through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is here with us, yet until we learn to acknowledge and utilize this powerful gift, we will be prone to our selfish desires. Jesus invites us to so much more and He gives us, this Halloween and every day before and after it, the opportunity to live the life He has for us, with the help of the Spirit. So, I leave you with this, does the Holy Ghost reside in your life and the place you call home?