The Holy Spirit: A Forceful Personality ~ BitterSweetLife

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Holy Spirit: A Forceful Personality

Mountain landscapeWind. Fire. Water. Our metaphors for the work of the Holy Spirit are powerful but impersonal. Why is it so easy to view him as a “force?” Maybe the language of natural powers is intended to compliment the primary nature of the Spirit as a personality, the living soul of a man, the eternal heart of Jesus.

If we think of the Spirit merely as a personality, we will lose sight of his irresistible ability to transform the landscapes of our heart—he can etch a canyon, make a burn zone, send a monsoon, grow new grass.

He is something that “happens” to us, reshaping our lives like a river, and he is someone who walks with us, speaking words that far transcend good advice.

If we think of the Spirit merely as a powerful phenomenon, we will forget that he is merciful, compassionate, and adamant about our healing. We forget, ultimately, that he is Jesus at work, growing his kingdom inside us.

That’s why the Bible demands that we take the two aspects of the Spirit and hold them together. He is no ordinary force and he is no ordinary person. He is something that “happens” to us, reshaping our lives like a river, and he is someone who walks with us, speaking words that far transcend good advice.

He doesn’t just whisper, he doesn’t just act. He’s a splashing, crashing personality, a flame with character. Only blowing or just murmuring are equally beneath him.

He’s a swift, fiery, liquid personality. He is a thoughtful, eloquent, decisive hurricane. He’s both person and power, and like Christ, he must not be reduced.



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4 comments:

Educator-To-Be said...

You have a wonderful blog--one of the best I have ever read. Thank you. Amy

Alex said...

Good entry.
Its good to be reminded that the Spirit is beyond a single facet. I find that I often have a single minded approach to the spirit, depending on my own mood or current attitude towards life.

must_decrease said...

Growing up in circles where The Holy Spirit was seldom discussed, frequently misunderstood and something we must keep in a closet for fear of what He might do to the congregation, I am learning to embrace a theology of The Spirit that is both all encompassing and liberating. Oh to recover the voice of God that speaks inside of us and revere Him for who He is

Ariel said...

Thanks for the encouragement.

Amy, I took a look at your blog, and what you're working on in the education field--challenging, to say the least. I'm happy you found something helpful in my writing.

Alex & Must_decrease, I find that my thinking about the Spirit tends to veer between immanence and transcendence. I'd like to marry the two, and always remember that he is tornado-powerful and Jesus-personal, both at once.

Something to work towards.

 

Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife