When Christ was born in Bethlehem, all those years ago, a lot of people heard about it, and some displayed emotional responses (positive or negative) to what they heard. But a privileged few knew in a deeper, life-changing way: the shepherds and the magi, Zacharias the priest, Simeon and Anna, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist (even as a pre-born baby).
What made the difference? All those in the last group had something in common: heavenly help.
We too need more than just hearing or reading about Christ, or even witnessing a mighty miracle, even if these things give us an emotional rush. We need heavenly help for the full impact of truth to ring through clearly to our souls, to open our new spiritual “eyes” to see the kingdom of God, to transform our lives.
Before He left this earth as the resurrected Savior, Christ promised to send His Holy Spirit, Who would–among other things–teach His disciples all the truth they needed (John 14:25-26). Before that, He told seeking Nicodemus that without the action of God’s Spirit giving new “birth” from above, he couldn’t begin to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3-8). Paul’s word in 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 concurs, saying the natural human cannot discern spiritual truths; only people who have God’s Spirit within them to aid them. And in the book of Acts, when groups of people responded positively to the gospel, we see time after time the involvement not only of the word of God and of humans sharing it, but also of the Holy Spirit.
As we reflect on the Father and the Son this Christmas, let’s not forget about the all-important Holy Spirit and our continual need of Him. We need Him to see the truth of Christ and be born from above in the first place, to discern error, and to live and walk according to God’s ways.
An excellent and helpful book dealing with this topic is Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. Great reading for the coming cold winter evenings! I highly recommend not just reading it, but carefully reflecting on and applying what it says.
But whether we read that book or not, let us not forget the “Forgotten God” (the Holy Spirit). Let’s not neglect seeking Him in our daily lives. As Jesus taught in Luke 11:9-13 and Paul in Ephesians 5:18, let us keep on asking and seeking for the Spirit’s guidance, control, and power in our lives.