The Holy Spirit

When I was a child I knew about God and I didn’t doubt his existence much like I didn’t doubt the existence of Santa.  My mom told me about him and Jesus and so of course it must be true because my mom would never lie to me.  As I got older, its not that I began to question the existence of God,  I just stopped caring.  I didn’t care if there was a god or not because I never saw anything in my life that seemed to be effected by him.  When I was 17 I went through what I know now to be a major depressive episode .  I needed help and I needed it bad. I am not sure where my mother was in all this (why she didn’t notice or didn’t do anything if she did notice.)   This would have been the perfect time for the Holy Spirit to guide me to God.  Such was not a time for subtle hints.  Where was this guidance?  I was not yelling out for God to help me, for Jesus to save me from myself and what was going on in my head- but why would I?  I had been apathetic to God and there hd been no one in my life to try to change that.

It is a parents job to raise their children to have the values that they deem important.  Its also important to let them make up their own mind but without any guidance then a parent is leaving it up to unknown outside forces.  So shouldn’t God have some responsibility to actually guide his children and not just sit back when they are in need and watch them fall further away from him?

HOLY SPIRIT IS… part of the triune nature of God.  He is present in the world to turn us toward Jesus Christ  and resides in the life of the Christian, providing supernatural guidance.

The above quote is from a flyer that I got at church last Sunday.

So the Holy Spirit is supposed to be a spirit that guides us to Jesus so we can be saved form eternal damnation. Where is this spirit?  Where was it when I needed it?

I have been told multiple times that all I have to do is ask God to show himself to me and he will.  What happens to people who don’t know that?  Who are never around any one that can guide them?  What about people who are never exposed to Christianity at all?  There are entire populations that do not believe in Christianity.  The Jewish people do not believe that Jesus was the first coming of Christ. Babies don’t know of anything past their immediate family.  What happens to all of these people?  Maybe babies get a free pass because they are babies.  I know that many Christian churches do not baptize until 8 because they believe a child cannot truly sin until then and therefore would get to go to heaven without accepting Jesus.  But what about all the adults?

This is where I would think that the Holy Spirit would need to be doing his job.  If the Holy Spirit’s job is to lead people to Jesus why doesn’t that happen?  I know, free will and all.  If God really does want to all of his children to end up in heaven with him then why not make a more concerted effort to show himself to people who are teetering on falling away.

The key to any belief is knowledge.  If you never told your children about any of the tenets of Christianity then they would not believe.  Children are born atheists, it is parents that teach them to believe.  So why is the Holy Spirit so quiet when he should be championing for people to believe?

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16 thoughts on “The Holy Spirit

  1. In your post you ask two separate questions that are interrelated and they bring up two thoughts from me. The first is that I was once told by a Christian friend who was mentoring me that God only holds us responsible for the part of him that we know. That means that the people who were raised without ever having the opportunity hear the gospel will be judged at a different level than a person who were exposed to it or believed and turned their back on it. I have yet to find a direct scriptural reference for this idea; however, there are places such as Romans 1 where I can see the origin of this idea.

    The second is that I too grew up in church and turned away from God. I too found myself in a dark place, that no one else around me seemed to notice, where it would have been a really good place for God to appear. I too was unable to see or hear Him, however, it was because I had closed myself off to Him. I did not want Him to intervene or no longer knew how to understand His language. God still gives us free will. We still have the option of saying no to him and ignoring his attempts to intervene in our lives. He wants us to want to be with Him. When I got to a point of complete desperation and cried out to Him, because it was the only option I had not tried, He stepped back into my life. In hind site, now that I know what His voice sounds like, I can see that He was there all along and I had missed Him. There are times that God moves in big obvious ways to bring us to Him but not always.

  2. The internet ate my reply. I should know better than to have not copied and pasted since it took me f.o.r.e.v.e.r to say all that I wanted to. Sigh.

  3. The Holy Spirit just doesn’t come down and help everyone. If that was the case, everyone would be a Christian. First, you have to believe. Once you believe whole-heartedly that God is the Father, Jesus is the son and he came down on this earth to save us from all sin, that is when the Holy Spirit rains his grace on us and he guides us on the paths that God has set before us.

    God did give us free will. We either decide that we are going to follow him or we don’t. He isn’t going to force you to do what you don’t want to do. However, if you do decide to follow him then you have to be able to give all control to him, obey him and the calling he has put before you, and to have faith that he’s going to pull you through it all. God is always ready for you to seek him, to acknowledge him, and to run to him. He never turns his back on us. All we have to do is turn to him, love him, accept him, and he will do all the rest.

    As far as all those questions you had regarding babies and those who have never heard the gospel or about Jesus, I struggle with that myself. I like to believe that those who have never heard the gospel or who have never heard the name Jesus, they will have a chance, but in the end, God is the final Judge. No matter who you are in this world, we will ALL be judged. The best Christian in the world will be judged based on the character.

    As a Christian, my job is to speak the word of God so that others can get to know him. My job is to spread the good news that Jesus died for us to save us from all our sins so that we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. My job is to act like Christ even if I may not spread the word by mouth. If I’m not doing that, then I’m not being the daughter of Christ that God wants me to be.

    I love these questions that you are posing. I love the fact that you are questioning. I love the fact that you are in your own way seeking to understand. I have asked these same questions (and still do) and I definitely consider myself a follower of Christ. 🙂

  4. I don’t know if i would agree that all children are born atheists. It seems to me that children are born believing in just about everything, from their own superpowers to the existence of the Easter Bunny/Santa/God. Almost any “uneducated” population of the past believed in some sort of supernatural existence. It’s only as we become more scientific that we begin to doubt/deny God’s existence.

    i would more say that children are born believers in everything, including God.

    • I can see where you are coming from but if a Child is never taught about God a child will not come up with it on its own. Gods are creations of adults looking for answers to their questions – questions children don’t really have.
      If I was to ask my 3 year old where babies come form she would not tell me they are a gift from god. She will tell me from my belly because that is 1. what have told her and 2. what she has seen.

      • i’d agree with that; that Gods are creations of adults. But the term “atheist” indicates that children don’t believe in God, whereas the actual truth is that they believe anything they are told. More akin to tabula rasa than “atheist”. They may not come up with the idea of God, but they will come up with the idea of an invisible friend, with superpowers.

        i would say that we are all born with the innate belief that things exist beyond our understanding (the belief in “wonder”). It’s only as we get older that we disregard the mythical for the empirical.

        your child would believe that babies come out of your belly button (trust me, i just told my 6 year old; they believe anything). or that babies come from storks.

        well, in any case, this is a minor point in your post, and i don’t want to harp on minor things. love your posts. very interesting to follow your experiment.

  5. The “job” of the holy spirit is not to lead us to God, but rather to guide us once we are there. He’s our helper, comforter, etc etc but God has commissioned BELIEVERS to lead people to him (ie the “great commission”).

    Have you ever thought that perhaps there were things to help you along the way and perhaps that’s why you are where you are today? Or perhaps there were “helps” but you either didn’t recognize them or refused them?

    So many of us come with expectations of God and when he doesn’t show up or follow thru how we believe he should that somehow proves he isn’t there or doesn’t care. But he is not here for our good and our glory.. We are here for his glory. He isn’t here to prove himself to us (not that it doesn’t happen sometimes, but it isn’t his purpose or need to do so).

    In conclusion, we do not and cannot see the big picture. We cannot know why things happen the way they do. We cannot know why sometimes he seems to choose to act and sometimes it seems he doesn’t. Maybe he let’s us go through certain struggles so we can help others as they go through theirs. So much we cannot know and that is where true heartbreaking earth shattering life changing faith comes in. Trusting that he is in control, he loves us and knows what is best for us even when it seems hopeless and out of control.

  6. The law of God actually leads us to God. The Holy Spirit’s first job is to reveal to us the sinful attitude of our heart. The Holy Spirit reveals to us if we want to know how good God is and how we fall short of the glory of God. If we continue to see ourselves as basically good with faults, then we will never see God as Holy and ready to save. Why exactly would we need God. Well, we need God because even though we can do good works we will still feel lonely and and abonded without God. God loves us through every person who loves us. Without understand who God is and believing in who He is then we will never desire God’s Son, Jesus to rescue us from sin or darkness because we will need see a need for saving. The Holy Spirit will show us how trapped we really are so that we are willing to make Jesus the King of our heart and life.

  7. I just want to say, really enjoying your blog so far. I just want to comment on the point you said about your tough time and how it would have been the perfect time for the spirit to intervene – the thing about God is, he is so clever that sometimes to us the things he does seem weird. I’m sure when Jesus said some of the things He said, he sounded absolutely crazy. And when Abraham told everyone that he had been told by God that all males should be circumcised, I’m sure they all thought he had a screw loose. Why would God tell anyone to chop off that? My point is, God knows so much about our lives that we can’t even begin to comprehend. So, sometimes when we feel like He should be acting and He isn’t, we feel as if He isn’t there. The truth is, we have no idea what God knows. Maybe Him intervening at that point would completely turn us from Him, or cause even more harm. We can’t know what would happen if He had stepped in, we only know what happened when He didn’t.
    What I’m trying to say is, God sees everything, and so when we can’t understand what He is doing as we cannot see the whole picture, we get confused. God is always full of surprises, whether the shock is his intervention or His absence. Truth be told, I wouldn’t want a different God.

  8. I just wanted to say that reading your blog has actually helped affirm some of my atheist thoughts/beliefs. The Christian commenters have as well actually, even though that was obviously not their intention.

  9. Dy-Anne,

    I have waited a long time to respond to this post b/c I just wasn’t sure what to say. So many issues are involved, and the questions and concepts are very deep. Whatever I – or anyone else – may here say will only scratch the surface of the ideas that you brought up. I finally decided I must give it a try, however.

    First of all, I’m sorry to hear of your episodes of depression. I can only imagine what it must be like to go through that. From your writings, it seems as if you have now taken steps to find help for this – like maybe counseling or medication. I hope so. Many of my friends are on meds for depression, and it has made all the difference in how they feel.

    From your writings, I sense disappointment in the roles of both God and your family in your life. And from how you describe things, I can see how you might feel like that.

    Now, please read and “hear” whatever I am about to say with a tone of caring and not judgment. I just want to have a conversation about this; I am not finger-pointing.

    You talked about really needing help when you were 17 and went through that major depressive episode. I’m sure that you did. I don’t know why your mother didn’t help. Trying to envision not being helped by family in that situation is totally beyond me. I am no psychiatrist, but I would think that being overlooked in that situation could cause some leftover bitterness of sorts. If so, then that is something that somehow you need to come to grips with, but I’m sure you already realize this yourself. One word is all that really comes to mind here: forgiveness. Sometimes hard to do … but possible.

    You also talked about God and the Holy Spirit not coming to your aid at that time. Yet you said you didn’t reach out to him. As your writing implies, yes, God has a responsibility – to love and care for you. And he does. But also consider the fact and ask the question: What is *my* – what is *your* – responsibility in this whole scenario? Somehow, we must trust God without blaming.

    I don’t have children, so I’m not sure how qualified I am to comment on your statements about the parent/child relationship, but I’ll give it a try. When we are children, we don’t owe anything to our parents, and their job is to care for us to their utmost ability. They expect nothing from us. Then, after we grow up, we do have some responsibilities of our own – to be “adult” about things, to realize that we ourselves aren’t the only ones in the world and even to care for our parents when *they* get old, etc. Likewise, God takes care of us, but at some point, we have a responsibility to him as well (aside from the “taking care of him when he gets older” part!).

    Actually, what God owes us all is death – because of sin. (See, I said this was a deep, multi-pronged discussion.) In one of your posts you said that, even without God, atheists are just as good as Christians. The fact of the matter is, *none* of us are good, with or without God, because we are *all* sinners (except for babies and the mentally incompetent). So it doesn’t really matter how “good” a life we live; we will all fall short eventually short. If we live long enough, we will all become unrighteous, and that means that we can’t be in the right relationship with God because, with his totally just and righteous being-ness, he cannot be associated with sin. It’s not what he chooses, it’s just what is.

    One reason I suggested reading “The Case for the Creator” is that if we can see that it took a divine, all-powerful being to design and create the universe, then all of this other stuff makes more sense than if we’re just spouting words about sin and heaven and forgiveness, etc. If some divine *thing* created the universe, then what kind of power and super-sonic reasoning must it possess? Wouldn’t it be possible that some of its concepts would be almost beyond our finite human reasoning? And if some divine “thing” did do that, and if it loves us, what kind of power would that give to *us*?

    Well, I guess I’m kind of getting off track here, but really, it’s all connected. Rather than blaming God, we must *trust* him. Without totally believing in him, I know it’s hard to do. But I’m asking you (please forgive me if this is impertinent) to believe as hard as you can right now and ask him – again – to help you. Reach out your hand. Reach out your heart. Reach out your mind. He is there, and he will reach back. I promise you. I don’t know how, but he will. You didn’t ask for his help when you were 17. You *are* asking for it now. That is a big difference.

    – Sallie

    P.S. As far as the statement from the flier concerning the Holy Spirit, what I would suggest there is that you study the Bible for more input on this. I’m not saying that the flier is wrong; I’m just saying that the holy scriptures are where we should go to learn what God himself said about this and other things.

    Also, please forgive the length of this post. As you indicated in your most recent post, there are a *lot* of things to talk about concerning this, and they can’t be said in small sound bites.

  10. I neglected to include an important point in the reply that I just posted. Concerning the fact that all accountable humans are unrighteous and as such, can’t be in a proper relationship with God: Of course, that’s where Jesus and the cross come in. As you know from your Christian background and your recent studies, *that’s* how we get back into the right relationship with him b/c that’s how our sins are blotted out. As I mentioned earlier, even if this doesn’t seem like something that *we* would devise to take care of the sin problem, it *is* what God, the divine Creator and Giver of Life and Love, came up with. Really, as far as I know of, no other religion really has anything that so beautifully and wondrously covers the sin issue. And that’s a major beauty of Christianity.

    [Also, in the previous post, the second sentence should read, “may say here” rather than “may here say.” 🙂 Sorry; the correcting habits of old copy editing teachers die hard!]

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