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Intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit

by Jeff Davidson

May the grace of' the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).

Our God is a God of covenant, and all that He does is the fruit of His covenant with us. By means of this covenant therefore He wishes to develop relationship and communion with us. And it is in this relationship that He will be able to reveal Himself as Father filled full of this grace and love which allows us to draw near to Him every day.

But for that, communion with the Holy Spirit is indispensable, for He is the only One who will be able to lead us into this dimension of grace and love. We need Him therefore in order to receive the revelation of the heart of God.

How do we grow in this relationship?

The Holy Spirit is a spiritual and sensitive Person, and the more time we spend with Him to find out who He is, the more we will know what pleases Him or what makes Him sad. We will then grow in intimacy with Him.

Jesus said: “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you, but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Jesus went away to the Father in order to send us the Holy Spirit, who from now on is there in every situation of our lives. He is the Comforter, the Parakletos (para means very close and kletos means called); the Holy Spirit is therefore the One who is called very close to us for He knows everything: “when the Comforter has come, the Spirit of truth, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but He will tell all He has heard, and He will tell you of things to come” (John 16:13). He will be in us and with us: “and I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:16).

The Holy Spirit has taken the place of Jesus on earth; He is omnipresent and does not have the physical constraints of Jesus before His death, and who was only able to live in real intimacy with a few who were close to him during His earthly ministry. So, from now on we can all have access to this intimacy with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. He is the One who shows us the way and is our Advocate on the earth.

That is why when Jesus says: “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), He is speaking of the Holy Spirit; for without the Holy Spirit we can do nothing. And if we try to take His place, our life will bear no fruit.

Jesus is coming back for a glorious Bride, the Church purified and full of the Holy Spirit. Without this intimacy with the Holy Spirit, we cannot accomplish the Lord's mission, nor grow into maturity in Him. When we were converted the veil of blindness which hung over (literally - weighed upon) our lives was torn apart: “even to tins day, when Moses is read, a veil is thrown over their hearts; but when they turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:15-16). But in spite of that we need to turn to God daily to be enlightened, but also so that the veils which still come to blind us may be taken away. It is a process in which only the Holy Spirit can help us. And it is not because He has abandoned us (He is omnipresent) that veils hang over our lives, but because we have very often followed our own ways and moved away from the will of God.

It is only when we turn to the Holy Spirit (for “the Lord is the Spirit” 2 Corinthians 3:17) that we find that peace and freedom again that we had lost, for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). The where is the point where we turn to the Holy Spirit, it is the place of our relationship with Him. It is here that we find freedom and here that our veils are taken away.

This relationship with the Holy Spirit will continually transform our lives and lead us into that true liberty where we will be able to contemplate clearly the glory of God: “we all whose unveiled faces reflect the glory of the Lord, we are transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The Word is a mirror: “if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror, and who, after observing himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what sort of a man he was” (James 1:23-24). The Word reveals Jesus: the more w look into His Word, the more me are transformed. It is also the process by which the Church is going to become glorious. So let us develop our intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, let us speak to Him, let us give thanks to Him!

The communion of the Holy Spirit

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).

The apostle Paul took on a position as father in this church in Corinth, and in spite of criticism held firm. 2 Corinthians 13:14 really is prayer from a father's heart and which shows the importance of grace, love and communion. In fact, nothing is more important than His grace and His love, for without them, nothing could exist between us, and there could be no communion.

Communion (or fellowship), koinonia in Greek, means placing in common, sharing; it is the gift of self, it is life; we give our life and we receive His life. In this place of relationship and intimacy with the Holy Spirit, we can go on to experience His life, thanks to His love. But without this relationship, we cannot move forward. So, if we wait upon the Holy Spirit, He will touch us for He knows our needs. And if we read the Bible, communing with Him, the Word will come alive and speak to us.

Praise and worship are intimately bound up in this relationship and communion with the Holy Spirit. For God seeks those who worship in spirit and truth, and only the Holy Spirit will be able to lead us to this worship and give life to our praise. Thus He is at the same time the object of (for He is God) and the One who helps us in our praise and worship. In fact, the Spirit is always involved in what God is doing, as was the case at the creation of the world.

The more we know a person, the more we have a good relationship with him. The more we understand the other person, the deeper will be our communication. The closer we are to the Holy Spirit, the more me are able to grow in grace and love. He is also the Comforter that Jesus sent: “and I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever” (John 14:16). And He will abide with you forever: “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him and does not know Him; but you know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). When Jesus says: “I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you” (John 14:18), He is describing what happens when the Holy Spirit is present, Jesus is also present and the Trinity works together; it is the starting place for the Body of Christ.

The apostle John lifted his eyes to heaven, he saw an open door and heard a voice which said to him: “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this” (Revelation 4:1). He saw then the throne of God: “Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God” (John 4:5). The seven Spirits of God do no represent something limited as was thought for a long time (Isaiah 11:2), but the perfection and fullness of God. A door is always open in heaven, for us as for John.

And so, the more we have an intimate understanding of who the Holy Spirit is, the more we will have expectations of Him. For example, when we have difficulties in walking in the truth, let us talk to the Holy Spirit, who is also the Spirit of Truth, and He will guide us into this truth. In the same way, Jesus has been declared Son of God with power by the Spirit of holiness: “concerning His son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:3-4). In the same way we are called to rid ourselves of the old man and to reclothe ourselves with “the new man, which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:2-1). That means that if there is a true holiness, there can also be a false one: that which is under the law.

The Helper (the Holy Spirit) will show us true holiness, for without Him it is impossible for us to be holy. The Father is more interested by the direction of our lives than by our actions. True holiness is to take the right direction, and it is only in that way that our actions can be holy. God also looks at the heart, but we judge others by what they do. Real holiness or sanctification is therefore a setting apart which leads us to be different from others. In the epistle to the Romans Paul explains that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1), speaking here of being set free by the Holy Spirit.

It is the same Spirit which raised Christ: “and if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to you mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). And we will be set free from our flesh: “And so, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh” (Romans 8:12), and if we put to death the works of the flesh by the Spirit of holiness, we shall live: “if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live” (Romans 8:13). Everything is done through intimacy with the Holy Spirit because He is the One who guides us in a different direction. Therefore the degree of holiness in our lives shows us the extent of our relationship with he Holy Spirit. That is why if we sin and “if we confess our sins, so He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Let us be led by the Holy Spirit, for “all those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

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