When we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, faith is built up in our lives. We get a sense of what God is doing and about to do. As we continue to face this crisis, let us take time to pause and reflect on what the Holy Spirit is teaching us in this season.
To know more about the Holy Spirit, here is our interview with Pastor Raymond de Guzman, our senior pastor in Victory Katipunan.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
I came to know the Lord in a deeper way through the Holy Spirit. On the day I got saved in 1988, I experienced God like never before. I felt the Holy Spirit strengthen and empower me.
The Holy Spirit is a Person, not a force or an influence. He is the third person in the Trinity. According to R.A. Torrey, “If we think of the Holy Spirit as merely a power or influence, our thought will be, ‘How can I get more of the Holy Spirit?’ But if we think of Him in a biblical way as a divine Person, our thought will rather be, ‘How can the Holy Spirit have more of me?’” That was one revelation I got on the day I got saved. The thought that the God of the universe lives in me—and is ready to use me—is simply humbling and overwhelming.
The Holy Spirit is a Helper; He was sent to be with us forever (John 14:16,17). It’s a comforting thought, especially to the disciples at that time who, for several years, walked with Jesus on earth. Before leaving, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to them, so that with Him, they can do greater works. In the same way, with the Holy Spirit, we can do even greater things.
The Holy Spirit is a Counselor—which means He will come alongside every believer. His Spirit is with us, just like how Jesus was with His disciples when He was doing ministry on earth 2,000 years ago. The Spirit that empowered the ministry of Moses and Elijah during their time is the same Spirit that is with us today.
How do we know if the Holy Spirit is in us?
We know that He is in us because we know what our condition was like before. We were spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1,4) and unable to receive the things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14). We were in what Paul calls the “mind of the flesh,” which is not able to submit to God or please God (Romans 8:7,8). When that is reversed and we become spiritually alive, that’s when we know that He is in us.
When God reveals His word to us, it is inspired by the Spirit. One way that we know that the Holy Spirit is in us is if we have faith in His word and believe that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 5:1).
A few years back, we had a tree in our backyard, and it was without leaves or fruits; it looked like a dying tree. But one day, its leaves came out and it bore fruit. That’s how we found out what kind of tree it was. In the same way, we know that we have the Holy Spirit if we possess its fruit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22,23).
In the first outpouring of the Spirit, people spoke in other tongues, preached the gospel, prophesied, and performed miracles. Another way that we know that the Holy Spirit is in us is when the gifts are manifested in our lives (1 Corinthians 12:7–11).
What is the Holy Spirit teaching us this season?
Because of the pandemic, most of us are weakening in our faith; we get discouraged and anxious. But if we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, our faith is built up. We have a direct line to God through the Spirit. Even if everything seems uncertain, God will reveal to us through His Spirit what He wants us to do in this season.
It is one thing, however, to know what God is revealing to us and another thing to obey what He is telling us to do. Just like in the book of Acts, before they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were in prayer: united, extending forgiveness, and preparing their hearts before God. They were in the right posture to receive and obey all that God was telling them to do. I think it is very important for us as Christians in this hour to hear and obey what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to us. There is a divine imprint that he is putting in our hearts in this season.
I’m in faith that the harvest God will bring is great; that’s why He’s preparing us. He’s making us more patient—allowing endurance to be developed in us—because when there’s endurance, character is formed. He’s preparing us for the next great thing that He’s about to do in and through us.
We easily get discouraged when our minds are set on what is happening. But when our minds are set on what the Spirit desires and is about to do, we are filled with life, encouragement, and hope. This pause is given to us by God for a reason. He is setting new rhythms and new priorities in us. This pandemic may be unprecedented but so is the number of people who, I believe, will soon come to Him. It will overwhelm us.
Pastor Raymond de Guzman is our senior pastor in Victory Katipunan. He is married to Malou and has two children: Daniel and Allison.