The Unseen Spirit
May 1, 2009 - Imagine possessing the power to become invisible. What temptations would accompany such a trick? H.G. Wells’s book “ The Invisible Man” grapples with this elusive concept. In the story, a scientist named Griffin develops a method that allows a person’s body to become invisible. One day Griffin successfully performs the experiment on himself and cannot reverse it. He uses his newfound anonymity to commit arson, harassment and robbery. It is only after he is brutally beaten and lay dying that his body reappears.
By Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose
The moral of the story? Human beings are not intended to be invisible. But God the Holy Spirit is both invisible and incorruptible. He uses His unseen ability to come to the aid of God’s people. He is known as the Helper, the Healer, the Unseen Hand of God. Before Jesus’ departure He assured His disciples that the invisible Holy Spirit would stay by their side.
LIFT UP ...
Father, thank You for showing me that the way to You is through Jesus Christ. Please give me the desire to show my love for You through obedience as I rely on the Holy Spirit, my Helper. Amen.
LOOK AT …
In John 14:1–3, Jesus reassured the disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them. He comforted them with His pledge to one day return, and He reminded them that obedience was an expression of love. Jesus understood that actions speak louder than words. It’s not easy to obey Christ’s commands in the power of the flesh, so Jesus turned His teaching to the One who could truly empower His followers to be obedient: the Holy Spirit.
Have you been trying to obey the Lord but found yourself faltering instead? Perhaps you’ve been relying on self rather than the Spirit’s power. Jesus’ instructions on the Comforter can bring you hope and help. If you run to His side, surely He will tuck you under His wing and teach you to soar!
Read John 14:15–18
If you love Me, keep My commandments. 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. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
- In John 14:15, we encounter a conditional phrase. “If” Jesus’ followers did
something, there would be a result. Describe this cause-and-effect condition.
- (a) Underline the word will in the text and record how many times Jesus used it. What do you think the word conveys? (b) How do you feel when you read in the Bible that Jesus will do things in your life?
- (a) Jesus also called the Helper the Spirit of truth. How did Jesus predict the world would acknowledge this Helper? (b) In what ways do you think this holds true today?
- Jesus was clear that the disciples would know the Helper. Describe how they would personally experience the Holy Spirit’s presence.
- (a) What are some of your own “if … then” equations? (b) Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” What is one specific thing you think the Lord wants you to do to express your love this week?
- In this lesson, we’ve learned that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our Helper. Rewrite the following verse into a personal prayer asking God to comfort you: “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6, NIV).
- The world “cannot receive” the Holy Spirit, because they neither know nor see Him. Read John 3:1–8.
- Who did Jesus say could “see” God’s Kingdom (John 3:3)?
- How did Nicodemus respond to this information (John 3:4)?
- What analogies did Jesus use to describe the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:5–8)?
- What do you think Jesus meant? Have you experienced this spiritual birth?
Jesus understood that it was difficult for us to grasp some spiritual concepts, so He used common imagery to enlighten us. When Nicodemus did not understand how a man could be born again, Jesus used the concept of the wind to describe the Spirit’s regenerating work. We can’t see the wind; we don’t know where it begins or where it will end, but we can witness its effect in the rustling leaves or crashing waves.
Like the disciples, you can experience the Spirit’s power coursing through you when you ask Him into your heart.