The Holy Spirit is as real and present for me as either of the other two persons of the Trinity. I cannot have a relationship with Jesus without that Spirit dwelling in me. I can never begin to accept the vastness and mystery of the One Jesus called Father without relying on the Spirit to give me goosebumps.
That is how I always remember being found by the Spirit. Oh, I know God is with me always, but when it is really important, I get goosebumps — or at least that shivering, heart-pounding, hair-stand-on-end feeling that you get with goosebumps. God’s Spirit seems tangibly with me in those moments. It is like a physical hand reaching out and touching my soul.
A friend once asked me when I speak with God, or more importantly, when God speaks to me, how do I know it is God. She wasn’t worried about the devil, though some people are when they ask me that question. She just wondered how I know this God I pray to isn’t just a figment of my imagination.
I told her the truth: I don’t always know if it is God speaking. But I do know from experience that it is sometimes God. The Bible tells us that we know a prophet speaks truth from God if the prophesy comes true — a little circular reasoning to be sure, but it makes sense. However, it isn’t always in the moment that we can be certain. It is only down the road that we can see truth. If we keep paying attention to when there is truth, we begin to see patterns. Our discernment of what is God, what is truth, and what is untruth becomes sharper. That’s the Spirit breaking in.
The Spirit has never guided me untruthfully when that tingly goosebump feeling hits me. I have learned to trust the Spirit and keep the door open wide to let the Spirit in.
That Spirit is calling me to write for this season. It will be a spiritual discipline for me, and I pray especially for that discipline. This is one I have never tried over the long term, but now is the time says the goosebumpy feeling.
As I lay here thinking and dreaming with the Spirit about what this space can become, I hope that I can make this dream of God as vibrant and interactive as the Spirit’s moments in my life.
That will depend a little on you, dear reader. How do you experience the Spirit in your life? Is there some way you ask yourself if what you experience is true?
Share your thoughts and dreams in the comments. And let me know if there are questions you have that the Spirit can help us answer together.