In Genesis 3, we learn of the Fall. The story recounts the original sin, where Adam and Eve go against God and eat from the forbidden tree. The story’s focus is often on the original sin, but it also identifies the absence of the spirit of God. The need for God’s Spirit is evident throughout the Old Testament. Time and time again, Israel exhibits the need for unseen influence. There is a point in their story in which God tells the Israelites that they will be restored and that restoration comes with more than mere rebuilding. It also comes with empowerment. In Ezekiel 36:26, God declares, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Do you see what God is doing here? God is not just making them new, but He is placing his spirit within them to guide them, teach them, and empower them as they move forward.
In John 16, Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit, saying, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” Here, the disciples of Jesus feel as though Jesus leaving them is abandonment; however, Jesus informs them that something will come in his place that will empower, shape, and teach.
This same sentiment is echoed in glimpses from the early church. In Acts 2, as the early church gathers together for Pentecost, “A sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:2) These early followers likely felt lost and anxious about what was next for them since Jesus had left. But in that moment, the Holy Spirit becomes present and guides them.
It is easy to see the movement of the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments and question whether or not the Holy Spirit is still at work today. However, in those moments where you are drawn to serve or help someone, that is the Holy Spirit working in your life. The times where you feel peace, the Holy Spirit serves as the comforter. And in those moments where you feel like you can’t do it, but all of a sudden you realize you have something within you to carry on, that’s the Holy Spirit empowering you.