“God is not far off. In the Holy Spirit, the Triune God comes close, so close as to actually enter into each believer. He is even more intimate with us now than in the incarnation. Through the operation of the Spirit he has truly become Immanuel, ‘God with us’.”
— Millard J. Erickson
The person of the Holy Spirit is so fundamentally personal with us we can relate with him and enjoy a relationship with him, which no other religion can offer—a personal relationship with a deity. Within our Christian faith, our theology holds that there are three persons in the one Godhead: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each of these is a person in their own right—perfectly in relationship with us—and together they are One.
Many writers over the centuries have demoted the Spirit of God to a lesser position in comparison with the Father and the Son; some of which is caused by a lack of biblical coverage on the theology of the Holy Spirit and some of which is caused by fear within the Conservative quarters that the ‘unreliable’ Pentecostals will take over and reign with heresy. Clearly both balance and discernment are required.
Now if we can agree that the Holy Spirit takes equal prominence with the Father and Son, appreciating that all three entities of the Triune God are persons in their own right, with their unique functions, we gain something that has practical significance in our daily walk with God.
God is with us by his Presence; in us via the Holy Spirit—one and the same thing.
Transformations by Intimacy with God
If we wish to relate with ourselves in enjoying the Fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, etc—then we will seek to become close to God. As we draw near to God, God draws near to us (James 4:8). But God is never far away. Because we so often run our own race we chide the Spirit; not needing him.
Enjoying a close relationship with God is the appreciation of God’s Presence and how such a presence can heal us—past, present, and future. The Fruit of the Spirit is a natural extension—it’s not tongues that are the key manifestation of the indwelling Spirit, but the fruit of virtue—every basis of God’s love as it sweeps over us to the vast benefits strewn within all our relationships.
It’s the Spirit that helps us forgive, heals us when we are betrayed, who revives us in our exhaustion, and who showers us with encouragement and holds us accountable.
Truly, enjoying the Spirit’s Presence is centrally about seeking intimacy with the Spirit of God and putting everything else, as potential factors for life, to one side.
When we honour the Spirit’s Presence within us so much that we obey with our commitment with tenacity, we are blessed in the natural extension of enjoyment of the Spirit’s Presence. In the Holy Spirit we have God’s perfect Presence within us, always.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.