Sisters in Spirit is a series of blog posts by a group of women who felt that a spiritual perspective was lacking from the steady stream of news and information that flowed through their daily lives. They each agreed to carve out a space on their blogs on a monthly basis for a spiritual conversation. The topic this month is: why is the Holy Spirit important?
Sometimes when I tell people I am a Christian, an active “religious, spiritual girl,” they wince as if I’ve insulted my own intelligence with the admission. A few have brazenly asked, “Do you hear voices?”
“You know. Like ‘burning bush’ stuff.”
“Uh, no. Do you?”
It is my immature Biblical understanding that prior to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a veil – metaphorical and perhaps literal – stood between the average people of the world and those allowed within the sacred space of the temple. When the stones were removed from Jesus’ grave to reveal He had indeed risen on the third day as promised, that veil was lifted allowing everyone direct access to God. You no longer had to be a smart Jewish old dude to get to speak to God directly.
This is when the game changed for Christians. Behind that veil wasn’t the Wizard of Oz but the power of three: the holy trinity. Father, Son and Holy Ghost. God was fairly done communicating directly to His people. No more burning bushes, booming voices from the heavens, stone tablets with directives. Instead, he sent Paul forward to introduce the Holy Spirit to believers. In Acts, Luke writes how Paul explained again and again about the Holy Spirit. If you took time to listen to intuition, your gut, the wind – whatever you want to call it – God would guide you.
This verse has always said it best for me.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
I have a very difficult time being still until the moment I fall asleep. I wiggle. I multitask. (Right now I am cooking soup, listening to opera, watching the dogs run in and out, watering the garden and oh – writing.) I make to do lists to cross things off, enjoying every second of productivity. That “be still” thing is a challenge – where I am pushed to be a better person.
I can find calm in nature and through exercise. After a hard hike, I sit on a rock and stare mindlessly simply listening to my heart pound. Sometimes it is after a hilly run when I stick my head between my legs to recover. Or perhaps in the swimming pool after the last exhausting lap. In these moments when I’m forced to remain still, I discover clarity. Solutions appear. I find guidance.
I cannot explain the delight or honor of that moment. It simply feels like the Holy Spirit is wandering near, providing love and a way. And I’m not alone. This book and Pew Research found some 26% of Americans have heard God speak.
Have you experienced the Holy Spirit? How so? Were you comfortable sharing the experience with others?
It is in the silence I am able hear. It is with grace, He is exalted.
Love for all,
I hope you continue this conversation by reading and commenting other perspectives on Christianity with my other Sisters in Spirit. Become part of the conversation:
Rebekah is a blogger, amateur photographer, and missions volunteer with Adventures in Missions. A lifetime of being a pastor’s kid, attending church regularly, and a private Christian school education gave her a lot of knowledge about the nuances of theology without a lot of faith. Now she’s trying to figure out how faith and theology applies to her relationships and daily life. You can find her online at www.honeysucklelife.com. (on leave at the moment)
Sarah is municipal attorney, mom to a toddler boy, and United Methodist’s pastor’s wife. (She does not play the organ.) She is a life-long Missouri girl with a heart for hospitality and social justice. Sarah enjoys cooking, running, knitting and embroidery, reading, and playing in the sprinkler. Sarah blogs at www.beautyschooldropout.net
Bianca is a newlywed Navy wife from the great state of Texas (where she coincidentally currently resides), and she and her husband are expecting their first child in late summer. She has a passion for serving others, asking hard questions and sharing The Gospel with both her words and actions. Bianca loves Jesus, her hubs, authentic friendships, traveling, making lists of all kinds, and trying new recipes which she blogs about on BecomingBianca.com. (on leave at the moment)