Updated: May 22, 2020
I have been meditating on being filled with the Holy Spirit. This thread of thinking was generated by one of the celestial experiences of peace and comfort that envelops me when I am conscious of the presence of the Holy Spirit. I wanted to further understand, the peace of God which surpasses all understanding. For me, being filled with the Holy Spirit is more of an ‘experiencing’ than a ‘knowing’. It is a moment in the present when I feel safe, protected and somehow lifted above the troubles of the world. Unfortunately these experiences occur during worship in moments that are fleeting.
I have an image of our reaching for these peace-filled moments in vain. Imagine kneeling in the dark wearing a blindfold. Hands outstretched we are floundering, reaching to grasp at anything in front of us that is material. Without our sight, we struggle to make contact with anything that may orient us to the dark unknown that engulfs us. All the while, God is reaching towards us from above, His hands outstretched, providing for us a covering of unfathomable power. The Holy Spirit is pouring over us as we struggle. We are blind to the light that pools around our kneeling bodies but it is there. It is always there, we must only recognize it. To experience it, we must draw on the knowing that comes from His words, the testimony of others and teachers of His Word.
The definition of the word shroud means to envelop with some covering or to take shelter. I love this description of the presence of the Holy Spirit because the word is both objective and active. We may envision His covering like a protective mantle but further, we may conceive of His covering as one within which we may take shelter in Him.
We may not be literally blindfolded but we are blinded to the reality that the Holy Spirit is with us always by the material nature of the world. We long to see, hear, touch, feel, count that which is tangible. Even love which has been proven to be as critical to survival as air, food and water is all too often measured in the material.
Although the Bible tells us that surrender to Him provides us with His covering, this concept is abstract and finite if not engaged in the present moment. The knowledge of His covering, like any wisdom spoken through the Bible, must become enlivened by our experiencing in the present. Jesus stated in John 1:4 “But whosoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.” Do you notice how the word drink is also an active verb?! We are meant to experience Jesus through the Holy Spirit and in order to do so, we must actively participate.
We do not have to wait for our experience of the Holy Spirit to happen. We do not have to grasp at thin air to feel comfort. We may feel it in conscious moments of awareness, prayer, communion with the Word, service, active listening and yes Worship.