Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Holy Spirit of God

This post is about what the Holy Spirit feels like to me.  It is a description of my experience.  I hope to inspire you to study this topic and come to know what it feels like for yourself.

The Spirit Feels Like Joy
When I make a decision and it happens to be the right one, the Holy Spirit sometimes feels my heart with joy.  When I’m about to make the wrong decision, the Holy Spirit sometimes puts a sinking feeling in my heart or an unexplainable anxiety.

The Spirit Feels Like Love
When I serve someone with no thought of reward, sometimes the Holy Spirit fills my heart with God’s love.  Once I taught a Sunday school lesson to teens and at the end I told each student I loved them as they went out the door.  That day I felt more love for them because I extended myself beyond my comfort zone and said that particular phrase.

The Spirit Feels Like Peace
In sacred places, the Holy Spirit’s presence is peaceful.  I also feel peace when the Spirit is telling me “good job.”

The Spirit Fills My Heart with Patience
Sometimes I want things done quickly.  I’m a fast mover.  I fret about things when the process takes longer than I would like.  As I step back and exercise faith in God’s timing, the Holy Spirit gives me a patience that doesn’t come naturally to me.

The Spirit Interacts More With Me When I am Meek
The ability to listen, accept guidance, let go of expectations, change — all these things work well when looking for and feeling the Spirit.  I feel the Spirit more when I’m not certain and I’m looking for direction.

The Spirit Feels Gentle
When the Spirit corrects me, I feel He is gentle — unless I’ve already made my choice and it’s the wrong one.  Unlike humans, the Spirit is not loud, critical, angry, insulting or harsh.  The Spirit  helps me to see where I have made a mistake while I still have a chance to fix it.  His corrections are often barely perceptible but if I listen I can change course easily.

The Spirit Feels like faith
When I have a sense that the Holy Spirit is with me, I am filled with faith.  Doubt doesn’t come from the Spirit.  Sometimes I take a small step in the wrong direction.  I feel it.  I try not to take big steps without some kind of confirmation.

The Spirit Gives Me Hope
When a trial is going on and the end is not in sight, sometimes the Spirit gives me hope to hang in there.  Sometimes I sense that the Spirit sent a person who has hope to stand beside me.

The Spirit Feels Like Power and Authority
Strong impressions from the Holy Spirit are rare, but when they include a confrontation with evil they feel powerful.

The Spirit Feels Like the Rushing of Mighty Waters
Once I had a spiritual experience while reading Psalms 18 that I attribute to the Holy Spirit.  It felt like an overflowing rush of water as in a waterfall.
The Spirit Manifests like an Idea in a Dark Room
Situations can get particularly troubling and when I ask the Lord for help, sometimes he responds by giving me a new idea that I’ve never had before.  I believe that the Lord speaks to my mind through the medium of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit Feels Like Growth
The way a seed swells before it grows is similar to how my heart feels when I feel the Spirit.  One time the seed of “Abiding in the Lord” was planted in my heart.  I didn’t understand it at the time.  Later it began to grow and I felt the truth of the idea.  I think the sense that something is true and that I am growing in my understanding of it comes from the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit Sometimes Presses
When the Holy Spirit wants me to do something that I wasn’t planning on doing, I sometimes feel a sense of pressing from a thought or feeling.  Once I kept getting an old widow’s name in my head.  I decided to stop in and see her.  When I got there, she was grateful because she had asked the Lord to send me.

The Spirit Constrains
This is like being pressed above but it is the sense of the word “no” in my head.  I find that these kinds of impressions are usually urgent.  While this type of impression is maybe the easiest to discern, it isn’t the most common.  The Lord expects us to make choices based on our knowledge and understanding without always giving us specific instructions like “no.”  

The Spirit Brings Things Back into Our Memory
This works very well for students who study and prepare for tests on Monday but don’t study on the Sabbath Day.  I’ve also had this happen while studying the scriptures.  The Holy Spirit will use a verse to bring to mind another verse and if I follow the impression I often get a train of new ideas.

The Spirit Teaches
Once I made a choice to sacrifice some of my personal time to go and help to janitorial duties at the church building.  The Spirit rewarded me by teaching me something new on a subject I was pondering.

The Spirit Edifies Gospel Instruction
During a Sunday school lesson I sometimes learn something altogether startling while teaching what I have prepared.  The students are also eligible to receive spiritual insights while being taught if they are aware and open to it.

The Spirit Guides
Sometimes I receive a prompting which leads me to make a discovery and maybe find more along the same line.  This is more subtle than an experience where the Spirit teaches me something directly.

“For the Holy Ghost to be fully operating” in our lives, Ezra T. Benson said, “we must keep our channels clear of sin.” 

He warned, “If our channels are  not clear of sin, then we may think we have received inspiration on a matter when it is really promptings from the devil.”

Verses for Further Study:

Image source: Flickr/ Hickory Hardscrabble

1 comment:

Holly said...

You have lots of precise examples, which really help clarify what it feels like to someone with little experience. Your detail is enlightening!