Why Do We Need the Holy Spirit?

Years ago, I heard a speaker pose a sobering question. “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” I wonder how the trial would go. Would I be quick to defend myself?

  • I belong to a church.
  • I own a Bible.
  • I’ve been baptized.
  • I pray.
  • I give.

Would the prosecutor cross-examine me? What if it went this way?

  • You could live in your garage, but that wouldn’t make you a car, would it? Going to church is not evidence you’re a Christian.
  • You own a Bible. In fact, you own a number of Bibles. We’ve investigated and found no proof your reading the Bible periodically proves you’re a Christian.
  • You’ve been baptized to signify you’ve died to the old life and been raised up to a new one. Yet, evidence shows you’re still hanging on to your old ways.
  • You pray. According to our investigation, your prayers have been sparse and limited to when you need help or want something.
  • You give. Yet, the evidence reveals you give only from your surplus, and not by faith.

      I invite you to step back in time with me to another scenario: You and I are living among the early Christians in the book of Acts. (See Acts 20:22-24) We’re on trial for claiming to be Christians. We have an advocate who sets out to prove our case. He proceeds to base our defense on two things:First, our forgiveness of sins made possible through Jesus’ death on our behalf. Second, the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling and working in our lives.

When we take the stand, we confess we’re compelled by the Holy Spirit to obey God’s Word. And although we’ve faced ridicule and hardships, we tell the jury we’re willing to die for our faith. Why? because in our hearts we agree with Paul when he said, ‘. . .  I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

How did the early Christians prove their allegiance to Christ? By the power of the Holy Spirit, they *remained true to the Lord with all their hearts. And *they shared the good news of God’s grace. (Acts 11:19-23)

This is our calling today, as well. That’s why you and I need the Holy Spirit. There is no life, abundant or eternal, apart from His work in us.  

I wrote the following for a women’s Bible study in May, 1991. It’s as true to me today as it was then.

Why Do I need the Holy Spirit?

I need the Holy Spirit’s work in my life because:

  • The Holy Spirit guides; I push.
  • The Holy Spirit convicts; I accuse.
  • The Holy Spirit forgives; I condemn.
  • The Holy Spirit responds; I react.
  • The Holy Spirit teaches; I pontificate.
  • The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ; I glorify myself.
  • The Holy Spirit ministers; I manipulate.
  • The Holy Spirit speaks truth; I speak emotions
  • The Holy Spirit molds; I force.
  • The Holy Spirit motivates; I pressure.
  • The Holy Spirit fills; I deplete.
  • The Holy Spirit draws; I alienate.
  • The Holy Spirit stirs; I nag.
  • The Holy Spirit heals; I wound.
  • The Holy Spirit controls; I coerce.
  • The Holy Spirit flows; I stagnate.
  • The Holy Spirit IS GOD; I AM NOT!

This is why I need the Holy Spirit. How about you? I share this prayer with you. If it speaks to your heart, feel free to make it your own.        

“Father God, teach me to walk in the power of your Holy Spirit. Remind me to pray more and worry less. Motivate me to give more and demand less. Help me to hold loosely those I love deeply. Keep me from taking on responsibilities that are not mine. Help me not to be controlled by self, or try to control others. Inspire me to be Christ-controlled. Make me the person you want me to be. Amen”

8 Responses to “Why Do We Need the Holy Spirit?”
  1. clairemuzal says:

    this is so excellent, Liz! Printing it out for more reflection……. thanks

  2. What a great post, and I love that list that contrasts the Spirit with self!! And what a powerful prayer, especially this line:
    Help me not to be controlled by self..

    AMEN! Thanks, Liz!!

  3. Shirley Irwin says:

    Thanks, Liz, for your practical list. I’m sharing it with family and friends. Love to you and Jay!

    • Thanks for the comment, my friend. We share a heritage on good teaching about the Holy Spirit, don’t we? Wish we could get together. We have lots of catching up to do.

      Love to you and Frank, Liz

  4. Sandy aasen says:

    Liz: I read your list and must say that I will read it again, slower the next time, examining as I do. Thanks for your thoughts, spuring me on. Sandy

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