Are you believing these myths about the Holy Spirit?

Allison Moore

Pictures of God the Father and God the Son line the hallways of churches and fill religious galleries, but the Holy Spirit is like a mystic figure we aren’t sure what to do with. Most pictures of God the Holy Spirit are nebulous light forms or a dove. 

It’s not a surprise we have a hard time making the connection between the power of the Spirit in the Bible and these images of a dainty bird or light force.

Is the Holy Spirit the least of the three in the Trinity or is He the power we’re lacking in our lives? 

The Holy Spirit seems to be the most controversial part of the Trinity. Even Christians cannot agree on who He is or what He does. Is the Holy Spirit the least of the three in the Trinity or is He the power we’re lacking in our lives? 

There are many misconceptions about who the Holy Spirit is, but the following are some of the most common lies Christians believe when it comes to the Holy Spirit's character. 

Five Misconceptions About the Holy Spirit

Myth #1: The Holy Spirit only does spectacular things.

The Holy Spirit empowers usJoel 2:28 says when the Spirit is present great miracles, signs, and wonders will be done. But His power isn’t reserved only for huge miracles, such as healing or deliverance. The Holy Spirit is at work in our lives all the time. 

The Holy Spirit helps us know what to say when we’re having a hard conversation or when to encourage a friend with a simple text. He can gently nudge us to invite a coworker to lunch or stop by a friend’s apartment and see how she’s doing. 

Myth #2: The Holy Spirit is karma or a scary force.

I remember thinking of the “Star Wars” saga in regards to the Holy Spirit growing up. “The force” scared me because it was powerfully good and bad.The Holy Spirit is not a force but God. 

The Holy Spirit is as much God as the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19-20). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit simply differ in their roles (John 14:15-17). The Holy Spirit is our advocate. He helps us to understand the Word of God and apply it to our lives. He enables us to live God’s best plan for our lives. Unlike karma, Jesus made the way so we don’t get what we deserve — eternal life in hell (John 3:16). 

Myth #3: The Holy Spirit is reserved for super Christians.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John describe Jesus and His disciples raising people from the dead and healing the lame and sick. When we see Jesus and the disciples doing miracles, we can forget the disciples were ordinary people like us. Sometimes, they seem superhuman because they walked with Jesus. 

The Holy Spirit is a gift to all Christians. It is not a level of Christianity to achieve. In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells his followers, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” That’s the same power we receive when we ask Jesus into our lives today! 

The Spirit guides us to what’s true, and His work in us shows the world a different way to live. Seeing the Holy Spirit at work in all Christians — not just pastors, preachers, or “super Christians” — is how the Gospel spreads in cities, states, countries, and to the ends of the earth (John 16:5-15). 

Myth #4: The Holy Spirit is an extra or optional part of our faith. 

The Holy Spirit is not a layer of God we may or may not encounter. He is the power in our lives. 

Paul says in Romans 15:7, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” We tend to think we can “try harder” or “discipline” ourselves into doing right or stopping bad habits, but we can’t. We need the Holy Spirit to experience the freedom God has for us

The Holy Spirit also helps us through the big stuff. He enables us to face hard things, like the loss of a loved one, and to be patient and steadfast as we wait for healing for a spouse or child. The Holy Spirit isn’t optional, but the way God walks with us through in big and small things in life. 

Myth #5: The Holy Spirit comes and goes like goosebumps.

Our ability to sense the Holy Spirit can come and go, but He does not. Just because we cannot feel the Spirit’s presence doesn’t mean He’s not there. The same way a pregnant woman feels her child moving more at certain times than others, it’s not unusual to experience seasons where we feel the Holy Spirit moving more than others. But just because we don’t feel Him moving doesn’t mean He isn’t there. 

The Holy Spirit is not a feeling that comes and goes, but a person of the Trinity. Before Jesus returned to heaven, He promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20). The Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of that promise. He is God’s presence in us and with us.  

The Holy Spirit plays a vital role in our lives. When we grasp who He is and seek Him, we realize He is not someone to be scared of. He is the helper, comforter, and advocate we all need.  

A wise teacher once said we live without power because we don’t know what we have inside us. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us (Romans 8). Now that is awesome! 

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