I have been trying to describe the Holy Spirit to a friend. Where do I start? The Holy spirit is the third person in the Godhead, meaning the trinity: God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe that the best place to start is at the beginning. Let’s look at the Hebrew word “ruwach” [roo-akh]. This word is often described in the Old Testament as the breath or Spirit.
I find that most, if not all of the concepts that Jesus came to help us see (to help us see through legalism), are first given to us in the Old Testament. This is one of the reasons that God came to earth as man–to help us truly SEE what He was trying to tell us.
We can start right from the beginning in creation:
Genesis 1:2 (TNIV)
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit [ruwach] of God was hovering over the waters.
Genesis 7:15 (TNIV)
Pairs of all creatures that have the breath [ruwach] of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark.
“Ruwach” is used to describe the wind. An invisible, mysterious, powerful force.
Genesis 8:1 (TNIV)
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind [ruwach] over the earth, and the waters receded.
“Ruwach” is used to describe a divine power, a supernatural force, invisible, powerful, yet real.
Judges 15:14 (TNIV)
As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit [ruwach] of the LORD came on him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands.
1 Samuel 10:6 (TNIV)
The Spirit [ruwach] of the LORD will come on you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.
Ezekiel 3:12& 14 (TNIV)
12 Then the Spirit [ruwach] lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the LORD rose from the place where it was standing. 14 The Spirit [ruwach]then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD on me.
“It also becomes immediately evident that the concept ‘ruwach‘ is an existential term. At its heart is the experience of a mysterious, awesome power–the mighty invisible force of the wind, the mystery of vitality, the otherly power that transforms–all ‘ruwach‘, all manifestations of divine energy.” [New Bible dictionary, InterVarsity Press] The concept that we could be created anew in the Spirit is also found here in the Old Testament:
Ezekiel 36:26-27 (TNIV)
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit [ruwach] in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit [ruwach] in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Jeremiah 31:31-33 (TNIV)
31 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
God’s Spirit has been placed in us through Jesus Christ. A new covenant has been made that is written on our hearts. I like to think of it as “tattooed” on my heart. That sounds great, but what does it mean? How does it play out in our day-to-day life as followers of Jesus?
Many of you know those answers because you have experienced God’s Spirit directly in your life. For you, I hope that these next few days will provide new insights and thoughts that will strengthen your relationship with the living God, with Jesus.
For those of you who are starting on this journey, I hope that you will see that you are not in life alone, that God loves you and is with you and that He wants a deep relationship with you. His Spirit is alive and well…. and with us each day as we simply choose to follow and to be in communion with Him.