I am quiet and relaxed. The temperature is just right. Breathing slowly and purposely, I focus on the black emptiness behind my eyelids. I listen to the hum of a fan spinning just a little too loudly above my head. No, don’t think about the fan, I tell myself. Block it out. Open your heart. Inhale. Breath rushes in through my nose, tickles my throat, and swells my lungs. Is my heart open? I imagine each throb spreading wider the little muscle that pulses in my chest. But no, that wasn’t right. Not my literal bloody heart behind my ribs. Had I opened my spiritual heart? Agh. I need to stop filling my thoughts with these stupid questions. I need to clear my mind so I could hear his voice.
Where can I find the Holy Spirit?
I wait for a rush, a tingle, a voice, a vision, something unnatural or unexpected. But all I feel is a twist of hunger reminding me how long I’ve been sitting here. Frustrated with the ordinary drip of my thoughts, I open my eyes in anger. There was nothing tugging at my emotions, and no one let me into his divine master plan. I feel silly for expecting such a sign or wonder, but then also humiliated, that the Spirit of God could not muster up even one, little shadow for me.
What could 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, I would try my hardest. Perhaps it is just an issue of faith. Maybe I am not yet worthy of his advice. I assume my faith in God and works for my neighbor must increase before I could find his power in my life.
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 does he do it? Is it our preparations or our sacrifices? Is it based upon our merits or our success? It is through our right words, the right mindset, or the right emotional state? Can we do enough? Believe enough? Try hard enough? Pursue long enough? No. No one, by their own thoughts, power, or will can chase down the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us exactly how the Spirit works: through the words He has spoken.
Jesus continues to say that no one can come to this life, these benefits, this faith by their own desire. Instead, it is given passively. 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.
In John 6, when the followers of Christ heard hard sayings about Jesus, and realize they have no control over the Spirit of life, many of them stopped following him. When they heard they could not chase down the right path, and could not please the Father by their own reason or strength, they no longer wanted to walk the path given through Christ. This is an uncomfortable and humiliating place to be.
“Lord, to whom shall we go?” a disciple asked. They didn’t have another plan. They didn’t know where else to go for the Spirit of Life. They didn’t know how to get to Father. But in frustration, a disciple named Peter confessed the key to finding the Holy Spirit without even knowing it.
The Holy Spirit is not ours to hunt down; rather, we are the ones relentlessly pursued by the word of Christ.
“You have the words of eternal life,” he admitted. Neither the disciples nor any of us have anything to impress the Creator of Heaven and Earth. We don’t know how to discipline ourselves 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. He speaks new life into our little hearts and writes our names in the heavenly book of life. No longer a slave to sin, we may begin to wonder where to find this Holy Spirit. But the whole time, the words of Christ hover over the hearts, souls, and minds of his disciples. The Father has already chosen us, the Son has accomplished life eternal for us, and the Spirit continues to enlighten us by Christ’s word that surrounds us.
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.