I love Alma, my wife! We’ve known each other since we were 16 and been BFFs since we were 17. From the time I first saw her, I have wanted to know her and be close to her. It was lust and idolatry at first sight (just being honest), but as Jesus transformed my life, God’s kind of love emerged and grew. I consider it one of the supreme joys and blessings of my life to walk with her in life.
Knowing and loving her is a priority in my life. I’ve learned so much about her. She considers it an expression of honor if I recognize her presence when she enters my space. She feels loved when I care enough about what’s going on in her life to ask. I score big when I actually listen and exchange thoughts, feelings, and ideas with her—when I engage her. After knowing one another for 51 years, I’m usually in tune with what bothers or offends her as well as what delights and thrills her. She’s the same with me.
In most ways we are different, yet in a few ways we are the same. One of the things we like to do is walk and talk, sit and talk, or lie and talk. Okay, we like to talk together. When we are together, there are rarely quiet moments. The conversation flows because we love each other, know one another well, and are committed to improving our relationship because we value it so much. I’ve learned that one of the ways I show that I value her is to keep the conversation going. This takes some effort, but not one I expend begrudgingly. The believer’s relationship with the Holy Spirit should be the same.
The only God on the planet
Author and pastor Jack Taylor was speaking at a Baptist associational meeting in San Antonio many years ago on the topic of relationship with the Holy Spirit. He asked the congregation this question and then gave the reason for the question. “How’s your relationship with the Holy Spirit? Do you know He’s the only God on the planet?” The question is pertinent to our lives if we consider ourselves to be followers of Jesus Christ. God, the Father, dwells in heaven, as does Jesus, the Son. The Holy Spirit dwells here on earth in the hearts of God’s people. This distinction does not diminish the union of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or the presence of Christ in our lives. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to manifest the presence of Jesus, the Son, in our lives. The life of the Spirit is the life of Christ.
Your relationship with Jesus is only as good as your relationship with the Holy Spirit
How is your relationship with Jesus? I think it is easy to be deceived about our relationship with Jesus. I know I have been. I’ve mistakenly thought that if I read my Bible and pray daily for the things that concern me that my relationship with Jesus is humming right along. Not to take away from the importance of being in God’s Word and prayer, but if that’s the extent of our conversation with God, then we’re not walking by the Spirit, as the apostle Paul admonished the Galatians. Walking by the Spirit is keeping the conversation with the Holy Spirit going 24/7/365 for the rest of your life. Your relationship with Jesus is only as good as your relationship with the Holy Spirit. How is your relationship with the Holy Spirit?
The Spirit is Life
If you have eternal life through Jesus Christ, then you have His life by the Holy Spirit. Paul punctuated this truth in his letter to the Romans.
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you (Romans 8:9-11).
If you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, you have life—the life of Jesus Christ living in you. God’s Word gives us four practices regarding our relationship with the Holy Spirit, which we will consider in subsequent Chariot articles. Today I want to encourage you to . . .
Walk by the Spirit
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). Walking by the Spirit naturally flows out of the life of Christ dwelling within us. He’s as present in our space as Alma is in mine when she walks into the room. If I recognize she’s there, the conversation begins. So it is with the Holy Spirit. There’s never a time for the believer when the Holy Spirit isn’t in his or her living space. The conversation begins once faith in Christ comes. Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Paraclete—the one who walks beside or with us. I like to think of walking by the Spirit as keeping the conversation going between us. I look to Him for life on a moment-by-moment basis. When I need help, wisdom, or to know how to think, speak, and act, He conveys what the love of Jesus looks like in whatever situation or relationship I am part of at the moment. So I’ve learned that if I keep the conversation going with the Holy Spirit, I am walking by the Spirit.
Keep the conversation going with the Holy Spirit to live to love
I’m convinced by God’s Word and my experience that if I will keep the conversation open and flowing between the Holy Spirit and me, I can fulfill my mission and calling in life—to live to know God and love with Jesus. I want to encourage you this month to tune into your relationship with the Holy Spirit. Do you value that relationship as much as your relationship with Jesus Christ? You should. They are one and the same. Jesus is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord, according to the Scriptures (Acts 2:36; 2 Cor. 3:17). Let us not quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19) or grieve Him (Eph. 4:30). I encourage you to read those passages and learn what the Spirit loves and hates. We’ll talk more about that in next month’s Chariot of Fire. Until then, talk with the Holy Spirit about everything—what’s happening, what you learn, and what you need—and keep the conversation going with the Him.