Quiet and relaxed. Temperature was just right. Breathing slowly, purposely, focused on the black emptiness behind my eyelids. Listening to the hum of a fan that spun just a little too loudly above my head. No, don’t think about the fan. Blank it out. Open my heart, as I inhale. Breath rushes in through my nose, tickles my throat, and swells my lungs. Is my heart open? Imagining each throb spreading wider and wider the little muscle that pulses in my chest. But no, that’s not right. Not my literal bloody heart behind my ribs. Open my spiritual heart, did I do it? Am I open? Ugh. Stop filling my thoughts with these stupid questions. Clear my mind so I can hear his voice.
Waiting for a rush, a tingle, a voice, a vision, something unnatural or unexpected. But all I could feel was a twist of hunger reminding me how long I’d been sitting here. Frustrated with the ordinary drip of the faucet controlling my thoughts, I open my eyes in anger. Nothing tugging at my emotions, no one texting me as part of his divine master plan. I feel silly for expecting such a sign or wonder. But then humiliated, that the Spirit of God could not muster up even one little shadow for me.
What did I do? What have I done? What can I do better to conjure the Holy Spirit? It’s not like I wouldn’t listen, I would. If He clearly told me to sell everything and move to Asia, I would probably do it. If he appeared and commanded me to stop eating chocolate because of the deception of demon sugar, I would try my hardest. But maybe it’s just an issue of faith. I haven’t been seeking the Holy Spirit for very long, and maybe I’m not yet worthy for his advice. My faith in God and works for my neighbor must have to increase before I can find his power in my life. I figured this must be a challenge, in relationship with a Holy Spirit.
Where can I find the Holy Spirit? I desire his good gifts. I hunger after his wisdom. I want to have comfort and peace, but where do I go?
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” And (Jesus) said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:63-69)
It is only the Spirit who gives life. But how will he do it? Is it our preparations or our tingles of hunger or pain? Is it based upon our merits or our success? It is the right words, right mindset, right emotional state? Can we do enough? Believe enough? Try hard enough? Chase after long enough? No. No one, by their own thoughts and power and will can chase down the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us exactly how the Spirit works: the words He has spoken.
In fact, Jesus continues to say that no one can come to this life, these benefits, this faith by their own desire. It is given. Passively, in fact. The power of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit descends to earth by a living word. The Father chooses His faithful. He alone speaks life by the Spirit through his only Son. And this is where many turn away in disgust.
When the followers of Christ hear hard saying about Jesus, and realize they have no control over the Spirit of life, they turn back. When the followers of Christ hear that they cannot chase down the right path, and they cannot please the Father by their own reason or strength, they no longer walk the path given through Christ. This is an uncomfortable and humiliating place to be.
“Lord, to whom shall we go?” A disciple asks. They don’t have another plan. They don’t know where else to go for the Spirit of Life. They don’t know how to get to Father. But in frustration, Peter confessed the key to finding the Holy Spirit, without even knowing it.
“You have the words of eternal life.” A disciple admits. They don’t have anything to impress the Creator of Heaven and Earth. They don’t know how to discipline themselves to be worthy of eternal love. But in our weakness, the Holy Spirit speaks life and salvation by the word of Christ.
The Holy Spirit is not ours to hunt down, rather we are the ones relentlessly pursued by the Word of Christ. The Word of forgiveness and life is poured over our head, in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit. New life is spoken into our little hearts, and our names are written in the heavenly book of life. No longer a slave to sin, we grow and may wonder where to find this Holy Spirit. But the whole time, the words of Christ hovers over the heart, soul and mind of his disciples. The Father has already chosen us, the Son has accomplished life eternal for us, The Spirit continues to enlighten us, by Christ’s Word that surrounds us even now.
Where can I find the Holy Spirit? I desire his good gifts. I hunger after his wisdom. I want to have comfort and peace. And He has been chasing after me in the Word of Christ.