Scripture Reading: Joel 2:18-32, Zechariah 10:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:2
It feels like I am always waiting for the Holy Spirit to move, and I have grown weary in my waiting, angry with my unmet expectations of Him. I have distrusted Him and come to believe He has poured out Himself on every son and daughter but me.
For many years I believed the Spirit was a second blessing, the first being salvation alone through faith alone, and the second coming only through the laying on of hands and impartation of the gift. But when I began to read my Bible I began to see the gift of the Holy Spirit was not a second blessing as much as a coupled blessing: my salvation came with a built-in helper and comforter and teacher, just as Jesus promised it would (John 14:15-31).
My stumbling block then, it seemed, was struggling to believe this and live as though it were true—to live as though the Spirit Jesus said He would send had indeed come and lived within me, empowering me to bear His fruit, speak His truth, live in His fullness. Because I did not believe the Spirit came with my salvation, I had spun my wheels for years waiting for something. But what? More? Some evidence that I was a true believer?
I believed I was not enough of anything for the Lord of the universe to condescend to me and give me gifts. I had read Joel 2:29 and the quoting of it in Acts, but had never noticed the words, “Even on my male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit” (Acts 2:18).
Those two small words began to shift something in my belief about my salvation and story. God, the Creator of all, who came in the form of Jesus to earth, and left His Spirit to lead His children into all truth, had not omitted the male and female servants from the gift. He had not passed over the lowliest and poorest. He did not have levels of Christians or levels of the Spirit to give to those Christians, because the ground before the cross of Christ was level.
Jesus is not merely a respecter of persons but a hunter of faith. Faith is the only prerequisite for the gift of the Spirit. Faith alone, and nothing else.
I know there are many views on the role of the Holy Spirit, and maybe you’ve felt confused by what you’ve heard. Today, if you’re wringing your hands and waiting, hoping and praying He won’t pass you over, I want to assure you that, if you are His child, He has not passed you over. He has given His Spirit to even the male and female servants, everyone who belongs to the household of God—no matter how long or short your walk of faith has been.
If you have trusted in the work of Christ to save you, the Holy Spirit is the seal of God upon you, helping and comforting you, strengthening and encouraging you, and empowering you for the work of God. He is the seal that was promised to the all the children of God, and if you are God’s, you have been given the seal, the guarantee, of redemption. Therefore, we need not fear, but rejoice and be glad. For the Lord has done astonishing things (Joel 2:21); He has come to rescue the souls of even you, and even me.
Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, and tweets and instagrams at @lorewilbert. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.