Understanding the Holy Spirit

I have a memory that has always been quite strong, and I thought of it last week when I wrote about the “eyes of our hearts” being an inner awareness given by the Holy Spirit.  The nature and understanding of the Holy Spirit was a mystery unlocked when I was young.

Nature of the Holy Spirit-orange/yellow flames against a black background

Our Mom was the lunch lady at our private school. One particular lesson in religion class must have really impressed me because I remember being so excited to share what I had learned. I made a beeline behind the counter while she was busily serving lunch to tell her that I had finally figured out what the “Holy Ghost” was. I don’t remember what I thought, but I just remember wanting to share my elementary grade revelation with her.

Why did that memory stick in my mind? I wish I knew. I just remember being so excited that something had “clicked” in my mind regarding this huge mystery of God.

The Holy Spirit still seems like the biggest mystery to me. I tend to “forget” about how important He is in my life. Maybe it’s because I have a picture in my mind of what God looks like, what Jesus looks like. When I pray, I don’t ever pray just to the Holy Spirit. Why not?

Bible Verses about the Holy Spirit

I started searching for verses related to the nature of the Holy Spirit to give me a deeper understanding and a new appreciation for this marvelous gift.
Here are 5 (of many!):

1. The Spirit of God-

We can start all the way to the beginning in Genesis 1:2 where “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” He was active and powerful in creating our world. That attribute of creator continues today with you and me- “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness”-Gen 1:26 and “When you send your Spirit, they are created”- Psalm 104:30.

What is He trying to create in you today?

2.Ever Present Help

David says in Psalm 139:7-8-“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” He makes it clear that the Holy Spirit never leaves us. We have Him for our lifetime. He is there with us through it all- the good, bad, and ugly.

How can we keep His presence active in our lives?

3. Empowered by the Holy Spirit

In Isaiah 11:1-2, Jesus the Messiah is prophesied and described as empowered by the Holy Spirit-“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge.” When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, Peter, filled with this same Holy Spirit, preached a sermon that brought about 3000 people to a belief in Jesus. We have this exact same power! When we rely on His power and strength we can accomplish God’s will.

How can you use this amazing power in your life?

4. Comforter Holy Spirit

Jesus knew his disciples would be grieving His absence after His death. He promises them the comfort of the Holy Spirit. John 14:16 says “The Father shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” In Romans 8:26 (MSG) we read that “the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.” I love this picture of the Holy Spirit coming before God for me when I cannot.

Can you think of a time when the Holy Spirit comforted you?

5. Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Paul teaches about spiritual gifts to the believers in 1Corinthians 12. “The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all.” (v7) “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.” (v11) His gifts are personalized and meant to be used-wisdom, knowledge, faithfulness, prayer, healing, administration, teaching, serving, encouraging, etc. He’s counting on us to use them!

What gifts has the Holy Spirit given you?  How are you using them?

understanding the Holy Spirit- stained glass depiction of the holy spirit as a dove in stained glass- yellow, rust and brown tones

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Attributes of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, and therefore fully God and eternal.  Jesus promised that once he left this earth, the Father would send the Holy Spirit to teach us, remind us of Jesus’ words, counsel us and help us. (John 14:26)

He is a “co-author” in the writing of the Bible: “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:21.

The Holy Spirit is with us everywhere we go; He has an infinite awareness, understanding, and insight. The Holy Spirit understands us perfectly and knows exactly what we need.

Names of the Holy Spirit

He is called by many names in Scripture. Comforter/Counselor/Paraclete (helper), Guide, Teacher, and Witness. Isaiah 11:2 describes the “Spirit of the Lord” as one of wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, and knowledge. He convicts us of our sin and is called the “Spirit of Grace.” (Hebrews 10:29)

He is the “Spirit of Truth” (John 15:26) and “The Spirit of Life” (Romans 8:2) 

There are many more- we could do an entire study just on His names!

Which one of these descriptions and names of the Holy Spirit are especially precious to you?

The Power of the Holy Spirit

I have seen him work in my life, using my personality and interests in many different ways. I think the key is to be more aware of when we can use our gifts and talents in ways that honor God. When I think of the power that is available through the indwelling nature of the Holy Spirit, it reminds me that “with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26.

Start with a simple word search of the Holy Spirit in your Bible. He’s there from Genesis to Revelation (which shouldn’t surprise me, I guess.) Meditate on the questions above. Let His many attributes help you in your life- every single day!



Acts 1:8-“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”

All Scripture is taken from the NIV unless specified otherwise.

Photo Credit: Canva

5 thoughts on “Understanding the Holy Spirit”

  1. I remember that moment of learning about the trinity and being awed at the prospect that my God existed as three, each with a purpose but still as one .i think it was when we were preparing for first communion . I also remember having complete faith in this unlikely idea. I just didn’t even question it in fact it gave me peace. Three for the price of one so to speak . Even today I feel a sense of peace thinking of the Holy Spirit a sense of calmness in this crazy world.

    1. Hi Susan Miller thanks for the great work I loved the study about the holy Spirit and was impressed to yearn for him more and more

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