When Christopher Columbus wanted to sail around the world, people scoffed at him.
They believed the world was flat and going too close to the edge would cause them to fall off.
It sounds crazy today with all of our modern-day technology and knowledge, but it was a real fear to people who lacked the knowledge that we have today.
I find a similar fear in Christians who don’t get the Holy Spirit. He is not an "it"; He is the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. It is certainly worth your time and effort to get to know the Holy Spirit.
Like Columbus, those who venture out will make amazing discoveries.
I would like to introduce just a few (maybe enough to whet your appetite for more): Every believer receives the Holy Spirit at salvation (Romans 8:9).
Every believer receives the anointing of the Holy Spirit at salvation that stays with them forever (1 John 2:27).
Not every believer walks in or stays full of the Holy Spirit. This is why Paul says, "Be (continue being) filled with the Spirit ..." (Ephesians 5:18). And, we must remember we battle our flesh over this very issue, because our old flesh and the Holy Spirit are at war over who will rule us (Galatians 5:16,17).
But what if we venture out to know more and give control to the Holy Spirit? What will happen?
In Ephesians 5, Paul gives several warnings of how not to act and draws a contrast to these things with being "full" of the Spirit (v.18), i.e., be full of the Spirit and you won’t do those things.
Acts 6:3 indicates (as do other passages) that godly wisdom is another benefit of being "filled" with the Spirit.
May these few discoveries entice you to go further in your venture to get to know the Holy Spirit more intimately. There is so much more to discover.
"Don’t be foolish ... be filled with the Holy Spirit." (Ephesians 5:15a, 18b)
Dr. William Burnham is pastor of Point of Grace Church in Covington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.