February 18, 2022

Misconceptions About the Holy Spirit

Written by Boyd Bailey

As you surrender to the Holy Spirit, He is always willing to give you comfort, guidance and strength.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 18, 2022

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. John 3:8

Jesus describes a stealth like working of the Holy Spirit in a person’s conversion to Christ. Everyone’s experience of being convicted by and drawn to the Father by the Holy Spirit varies, but the result is the same—being born again. Oswald Chambers the humble missionary and Spirit-filled devotional writer describes, “By being born again from above we know Him first as Savior, we know that He did not come to teach us only. He came to make us what He teaches we should be”. Yes! The Holy Spirit brings us into the family of God, and the Holy Spirit matures us by empowering us and teaching us how to live like Jesus. 

The Holy Spirit can be easily misunderstood, and this seems central to Satan’s strategy. Divert followers of Jesus from tapping into the only true source for living the Christian life with abundance and power. Chambers explains further the lag time for most believers in truly understanding the Holy Spirit, “The Spirit is the first power we practically experience, but the last power we come to understand”. So, to better understand the Holy Spirit, let’s clarify and redefine three misconceptions: 1) The Holy Spirit is a force, 2) The Holy Spirit is not permanent, and 3) The Holy Spirit is a feeling.


The Holy Spirit is a Force“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So, God created man in His own image; in the image of God, He created him; male and female” (Genesis 1:26-27).

Indeed, the Holy Spirit is a powerful force in moving hearts toward God and displaying the works of God through creation. When the earth was formless and void the Spirit hovered over the waters. But the Holy Spirit is much more—He is the third person of the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit. He indwells all believers in Jesus Christ as the person of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is always at work, but He works through a humble, intimate relationship. As you surrender to the Spirit, He is always willing to give you comfort, guidance and strength.

The Holy Spirit is not Permanent– “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

In the Old Testament the role of the Spirit of God was to come for a time upon men and women to empower them to carry out the Lord’s plan. The Spirit’s evident fruit in the life of Joshua was a qualification for Moses to choose his young mentee as his successor. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel with wisdom, so he could judge Israel justly. The Spirit’s favor also gave him victory against the enemy in battles. Five female prophets in the Old Testament had the Spirit of God come upon them to speak truth on behalf of the Lord. But, the Holy Spirit’s role after Jesus’ ascension to heaven is a permanent indwelling of Christ followers. At salvation you are sealed by the Spirit. Daily you empty self to be filled by the Spirit, so your life bears the fruit of the Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit is a Feeling– “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17, NKJV).

Just before His departure, Jesus clearly promises the ongoing dwelling of the Spirit of truth who the world cannot receive, but who will abide forever in hearts of faith in Christ. Feelings come and go, but the Holy Spirit is always present to show you the way. Indeed, heartfelt prayer and worship can be conduits for emotional expressions of the Spirit’s beautiful and quiet work to soothe a soul or bring exuberant joy to hearts lifted in grateful praise to the Lord. Warm feelings are not sustainable, as suffering and sorrow bring pain and grief in this life. Thankfully, the Spirit’s dear presence is your peace and protection. Praise Him, even when you don’t feel Him! 

“Worship God in the Spiritrejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3, NKJV).


Heavenly Father, I praise you for your Spirit that gives me peace and protection in the face of difficulty, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.


What area of my life do I need to surrender to the Spirit’s control?

Related Reading

Jeremiah 23:9-40; Numbers 11:25; John 15:26; Acts 2:33; Ephesians 5:17-21

Worship Resource

Rosemary Siemens: Spirit of the Living God


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