I've been reading God's Pursuit of Man by A. W. Tozer. It's rattling me.
Chapter 5 is called “The Forgotten One,” and it's a challenge to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Listen to what Tozer says:
“Our blunder (or shall we frankly say our sin?) has been to neglect the doctrine of the Spirit to a point where we virtually deny Him His place in the Godhead. This denial has not been by open doctrinal statement, for we have clung closely enough to the biblical position wherever our credal pronouncements are concerned. Our formal creed is sound; the breakdown is in our working creed.”
This got my attention. Even though I commune with the Holy Spirit every day, listen to Him, and try to obey His instructions, I've been taught all my life that the sole purpose of the Holy Spirit is to lead us to someone greater: Jesus.
But what I've been taught is wrong.
Scripture doesn't support the theory that the Holy Spirit is inferior to the Father and to Jesus. I won't go into all the verses here, for they are many. But listen to the way Tozer explains it in the next paragraph:
“This is not a trifling distinction. A doctrine has practical value only as far as it is prominent in our thoughts and makes a difference in our lives. By this test the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as held by evangelical Christians today has almost no practical value at all. In most Christian churches the Spirit is quite entirely overlooked. Whether He is present or absent makes no real difference to anyone. Brief reference is made to Him in the doxology and the benediction. Further than that He might as well not exist. So completely do we ignore Him that it is only by courtesy that we can be called Trinitarian. The Christian doctrine of the Trinity boldly declares the equality of the Three Persons and the right of the Holy Spirit to be worshiped and glorified. Anything less than this is something less than Trinitarianism” (pages 60-61, emphasis mine).
I've enjoyed the Holy Spirit's ministry. I've enjoyed His revelation of Jesus.
But I have treated Him almost like a tool: a way to get to the more important stuff. He's literally been a method to me:
- the method for hearing from the Father.
- The method for how to see Jesus.
- The method for how to pray effectively.
But I have not worshiped Him. I have known He is equal to the Father and the Son, but still I have not worshiped Him.
And yet the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are One. They are equal in God-ness, equal in might, equal in worthiness to be worshiped. They deserve to be known equally.
I want to get to know the Holy Spirit. Not just knowing Him the way I do now – as a tool for ministry, as the messenger of the Father, as my method for living and praying effectively.
No… I want to KNOW Him.
- I want to be His friend.
- I want to have a relationship with Him the same way I feel my relationship with the Father.
- I want to talk to Him like I talk to the Father.
- I want to be buddies, co-conspirators, best friends with the Holy Spirit.
- And I want to worship Him. I want to give Him the love and worship and praise He deserves.
Holy Spirit, help me to really KNOW You.
How have you related with the Holy Spirit? And how do you want to relate to Him? Please leave a comment.
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