Focal Passage: Isaiah 11:1-9
“How much do you trust the Holy Spirit?”
I wasn’t even sure I heard the question right or not, but either way I had no answer. I was with a group of people from my church at a retreat weekend that was supposed to be about church growth and avoiding a decline, or ending a plateau on which so many churches like ours sit. We were supposed to be talking demographics and socio-economics. How much do I trust the Holy Spirit? What kind of question was that?
Well, a really good one actually. You see the way we meet God in our world is through His Holy Spirit. We need to know how much we trust this Comforter of God.
In Isaiah, we find that the “earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord” through the Spirit.
Normally, talk about “spirits” and “ghosts” makes us nervous. It leaves too many things open and leaves our belief subject to the mystical whims of any who claim to see or hear from such. How do we know when the “Spirit” we are dealing with is that of God — when it is the Holy Spirit? Well the prophet says that if the results of communication through the spirit are righteousness, that is a good place to start. He uses words like faithfulness and might. He speaks of this Spirit as being “the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.”
Perhaps not as concrete a definition as we might hope for, but not completely ambiguous either. When we meet God through the Spirit, we meet righteousness face-to-face. When we go to God through His Spirit, we come in contact with the fear of the Lord.
Isaiah spoke of a branch of the root of Jesse, which of course we know was and is Jesus. And when Jesus spoke of giving us a means to God, He spoke of a Comforter. There is no science to it. There is no exact way to know. It is almost something you just have to feel.
And something we must trust.
How much do you trust the Holy Spirit?
Enough to come to God through it alone?