As essential as air—the Holy Spirit

I remember being on the receiving end of a prank. I was camping with some friends. We were in our sleeping bags. When I wasn’t paying attention someone yanked up my sleeping bag over my head and held it firmly closed at the top.

At first, it was funny. “Come on, guys, cut it out.” But then I felt like it was getting hard to breathe. And let me tell you this. When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.

The Holy Spirit is everywhere in the New Testament. But who is he? He is God, the third Person in the Trinity. As such he is the ongoing power and presence of God in our lives.

Francis Chan says: “the Holy Spirit is as essential to a believer’s existence as air is to staying alive.”* And yet, for whatever reason, we can kind of neglect the Spirit.

When we do that we’re not doing ourselves any favours. If the Spirit is God, and if the Spirit is the ongoing power and presence of God in our lives, he is even more important than the oxygen I was so desperate to breathe in that sleeping bag!

As followers of the risen Jesus, “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). That’s right. God himself takes up real estate in his people. When we entrust ourselves to him, he entrusts his Holy Spirit to us. What a gift!

This is one of the reasons you can have confidence and courage as you live each day, and as you share God’s love, compassion, and truth with others. God himself is at work—even in and through normal people like you and me.

The Holy Spirit is as essential to a believer’s existence as air is to staying alive.


–“Pentecost, godly contagion and carriers of the Holy Spirit.” That’s the latest bible-study episode of ‘The Pulse Podcast’ where I go in-depth with Luke 2:1-41. You can click here to listen, or simply find it wherever you subscribe to podcasts (Apple/iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn.)   You can also watch the sermon version itself (called “Carriers of the Holy Spirit”) on YouTube here.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

–*Francis Chan, Forgotten God: Reversing our tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2009), 16.

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