Holy Spirit Here and Now

July 10th, 2013

 “Why write another book about the Holy Spirit?” a close friend asked me when I told him I was writing this book. It is a good question. Many books about the Holy Spirit are readily available. I have benefited from reading several of them. Yet for some time now I have wanted to write about how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. Several reasons come to mind.

First, I know that many people feel like second-class Christians when it comes to an awareness of the Holy Spirit. They hear others speak confidently about their experiences of the Spirit, either at church or while viewing religious TV programs. They feel left out of such happenings. These people often end up thinking that experiences of the Holy Spirit come to religious professionals or those inclined to charisms or the really weird—but not to them. You may be one of these. If you are, I hope this book will help you recognize the Holy Spirit’s work within you at this moment.

Second, I meet people who have been through off-putting, scary, and painful experiences related to the Holy Spirit. I think of my mother who seldom went to church. On one occasion when she attended, well-meaning people took her into a side room and prayed for her “to receive the Spirit.” She felt tremendously pressed to speak in tongues. This event traumatized her. Only years later, in response to the gentle, accepting, and thoughtful ministry of one of my colleagues, did she willingly return to a church.

Perhaps you have had a similar occurrence. . . . I hope you will consider some of the lessons about the Holy Spirit that I have been learning over the past forty years. You do not need to be afraid. More than anything else, the Holy Spirit wants you to know that you are infinitely loved by a good and loving God whose human face we have seen in Jesus Christ.

A third reason for writing is because I meet many spiritual seekers who are looking for “something more” in their relationship with God. They are tired of a superficial, shallow, and secondhand faith. They long for intimate interaction with the living God. They yearn to know the fire of God’s presence burning in their hearts. . . .

Fourth, I want to bridge the deep chasm that often exists between our experience of God’s Spirit and our everyday lives. Many of us tend to confine our encounters with the Holy Spirit to the religious zone of our lives: worship moments, Bible study groups, and church conferences. As a result, we don’t recognize the activity of the ever-present Spirit in our personal struggles or in our messy and muddled relationships or in our nine-to-five jobs with all their stresses and strains or in the overwhelming social challenges that we face. We think that we have to leave our material day-to-day lives behind and enter the so-called “spiritual” world of church activities to experience the Holy Spirit. The consequences of this dual approach are tragic. We develop a split spirituality and usually end up living double lives. . . .

Lastly, I want to hold out a vision of our relationship with God as an invitation to go on a lifetime journey with the Holy Spirit. Too often, we interpret Paul’s command to be filled with the Holy Spirit as having a singular experience that we live off forever. I want to suggest a different approach. This challenging instruction by the apostle invites the Holy Spirit’s total renovation of who we are. It challenges us to allow every part of our lives—our hearts, our minds, our emotions, our bodies, our souls, our relationships, our work—to become arenas where the Holy Spirit can work. Only then are we truly filled with God’s Spirit. Are you willing to embark on this Spirit-propelled adventure of restoration, renewal, and transformation?

excerpt from Holy Spirit Here and Now by Trevor Hudson Copyright©2013 Upper Room Books. Used with permission. Order information below.

Read an interview with Trevor or browse his books here.

comments powered by Disqus