The third person of the Trinity is often misunderstood and confused in our minds. We can end up talking about ‘it’ or describing him as a force. The Spirit of God is in fact a person in himself and enjoys equal standing, whilst being called the third person of the Trinity.
I would describe myself as a Charismatic New Monastic. This Charismatic part of me is the belief that God’s spirit is intending on being powerful and present in our lives beyond a nice idea. When we talk in my tradition about the Holy Spirit we sometimes use the phrase ‘come holy spirit’. I think in reality what we mean is ‘us’ come into ‘his’ presence, but that’s another issue. By praying come Holy Spirit we can end up with an idea of the Spirit being God’s spiritual ‘milk-man’.
The Holy Spirit in no way brings us some container or bottle of his presence, but the Holy Spirit brings his own life that he then beautifully shares with us. This life the Spirit gives is not some abstract thing and it is not primarily something that he gives us at all. The Spirit gives us his very self that we might know and enjoy him and so enjoy his fellowship with the Father and Son.
If we think about the Spirit like a milk man, bringing us bottles each week of this spirit, then we need to keep asking each week for him to do so. This then creates in us this idea that God’s Spirit is only brought in momentary doses and can be consumed as such. The Spirit is not like some divine milkman leaving behind bottles of his ‘gift of life’ on our doorsteps only then to move on to the next door or person.
For some of us this could be a major revelation. The Holy Spirit does not bring us ‘something’ like a power drink, but brings ‘someone’ that is powerful. In giving us this life he then becomes a part of us not something consumed by us. This giving of life comes to be ‘with’ us and ‘remains’ with us. It is in this giving of his life that we then experience a life on some new level, a life with new colour, new tones, new grace, new reality, making life blossom and growing something more real and more solid than we experienced before.
The Spirit does not leave bottles, but breathes… life.