21 Ways the Holy Spirit Manifests Himself to Believers

Holy Spirit, MESSAGES, Spiritual Gifts

Pulpit Today Sermons

Robert D Pace

(This message is presented in Outline form, describing numerous ways the Holy Spirit manifests himself to Believers.)

The Personality of the Holy Spirit

As I begin this message, I want to ask a question. When you contemplate the personage of the Holy Spirit, how do you envision his personality? How do you characterize his character and nature?

Did you know that the Bible answers this? There is a unique way that the Apostle Paul teaches illustrates the nature of the Holy Spirit. He does so in Galatians 5:22—23, where he innumerates what is called the “fruit of the Spirit.” Paul said this fruit is:

1. Love

2. Joy

3. Peace

4. Forbearance

5. Kindness

6. Goodness

7. Faithfulness

8. Gentleness

9. Self-control

(Insight) Here is the unique, underlying message that we can deduce from this list: When the Holy Spirit provides Christians with this fruit it also demonstrates that the Holy Spirit provides Christians with his essential nature! This fruit represents the wonderful character of the Spirit of God! It is the Spirit’s invitation for Christians to be more like him.

All this means something important to Christians. As the Father and Son’s preeminent gift to Believers, we should eagerly welcome him into every aspect of our life. It should be our desire to be consumed with him! This is what Paul was saying in 2 Corinthians 13:14 when he wrote these words:

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

You can’t get much clearer than that! Christians are supposed to walk, talk, and fellowship with the Spirit of God! And I also want to read Paul words in Galatians 5:16—21, 25.

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. [Let’s skip to verse 25] Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

(Transition) Let’s continue by considering the location of the Holy Spirit today.

Where the Holy Spirit Resides

I have a question for you: What is the personal address of the Holy Spirit today? In answering that, let’s begin by identifying the location that  God the Father occupies.

What is the address of the Father today? (Answer) The New Jerusalem in Heaven. From there, he sits upon the Throne of God.

Next, what is the address of Christ Jesus? (Answer) The New Jerusalem in Heaven. And further, he sits at “the right hand of the Father.”

Now, let’s consider where the Holy Spirit resides. (Answer) He dwells on Earth! But more specifically than that, he indwells your life! Turn to 1 Corinthians 3:16—17 and let’s read:

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (17) If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”

That is why it’s so important to keep our temple pure and protected from the contagion of the world. The Holy Spirit lives there!

Since your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit it indicates something extremely important: It means the Spirit of God will interact with you! The Holy Spirit will gladly accompany you in your Kingdom work. And more than that, he wants to lead the way and anoint you with power, insight, wisdom, and courage to accomplish the assignment! It’s important to let the Holy Spirit know he is welcome into your life and you want to be a co-laborer with him in Kingdom activities.

Since this is the case, I want to investigate the ways the Holy Spirit displays and manifests himself to us. And it is remarkable that the Bible discloses over twenty ways that he interacts with Believers! As you will discover, some ways are subtle while others are demonstrable.

Before I disclose the ways the Holy Spirit interacts with Christians, I want to point out an underlying benefit of this message: If people are not familiar with the operation of the Holy Spirit, there could be times when he draws near them or enters the atmosphere but he goes unacknowledged. It’s not that Christians are purposely shunning him, it’s that they aren’t trained to discern his presence.

Ways Christians Experience the Holy Spirit

1. “Come Upon” experience: This describes the sudden, out-of-nowhere presence of the Spirit. When this occurs, there is an urgency attached to the experience, which indicates the demand for immediate action.

I have experienced this numerous times, and when I have yielded  to the Holy Spirit something supernatural happened!

2. The “Compelling” of the Spirit: This happened to Jesus just before he launched his public ministry. The Holy Spirit “led” him into the desert to pray and fast so he could overcome Satan.

Acts 20:22—24 says “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

Greek: to bind, put under obligation, of the law, duty etc

Strong’s Greek 1210: To bind, tie, fasten; I impel, compel; I declare to be prohibited and unlawful. A primary verb; to bind.

Paul tells these Ephesian elders the reason for his departure to Jerusalem: He is “compelled by the Spirit.”  Many of you have experienced this kind of leading, although it’s difficult to explain to someone who has not, particularly a non-believer. Being compelled means being driven beyond our ability to resist the leading prompted by the Holy Spirit as He directs our lives. “If we can bring ourselves to that place of ultimate surrender, then we will be compelled and propelled by the Spirit into our destiny and into God’s divine will for our life” (Mark E. Hardgrove).

This leading does not always make sense.  Paul acknowledged that he did not know what would happen to him.  He had been warned in every city by the Holy Spirit that he was to face prison and hardships.  Later in his journey the disciples at Tyre through the Spirit urged him not to go (Acts 21:4) and still later a prophet at Caesarea named Agabus with great drama accurately prophesied Paul’s experience and again pleaded with Paul not to go (Acts 21:9-11).  Interestingly the text reads, “We and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem” (Acts 21:12). Apparently even Luke, the writer of Acts, who was traveling with Paul, joined in the pleading!

But the Spirit compelled Paul and in obedience he followed the leading of the Spirit.  As had been prophesied, he indeed faced prison and hardships as the remaining chapters of Acts record.  Not only did he use each opportunity to witness for the Lord, but most of the New Testament epistles were written after this point.  Paul’s greatest legacy regards the holy Scriptures he wrote that have been read by hundreds of millions throughout the church age.

3. The “Quickening” of the Spirit: This describes how the Spirit suddenly makes something real and alive to an individual. Perhaps it’s a quickening of a Scripture that you have read a hundred times but then suddenly appears as a marvelous revelation.

(Illustration) (I was praying with my seven-month-old daughter, Kristen, resting on my shoulder when the Spirit said, “I will tell you where you will pastor next.” Sure enough, within two hours I received a phone call, out-of-the-blue, with an invitation to “candidate for a church, which I later pastored!)

4. “Hovering” of the Spirit: Genesis 1:1—3. This is not instantaneous. It’s a process of the Spirit doing something supernatural. “Spirit moved on waters.” The Holy Spirit can only rest on that which has been sanctified. Once the pre-Adamite world was cleansed by a flood only then could the Holy Spirit “move over the face of the waters.” Thus, the Bible was showing us that sin had once plagued this planet, God cleansed it, and the Spirit renewed it.

(Illustration) August 10, 2020, the Holy Spirit mysteriously showed up as I sat in my recliner. It lasted for two days!

5. The “Flowing” of the Spirit. Let’s see what Jesus had to say about this. Turn to John 7:37—38.

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Flowing is the “stream of God” that carries with it blessings.

6. The “Stirring” of the Spirit. When one is “stirred” it indicates how a person is impelled to act. . .

When Samson was a youth, Judges 13:25 points out that “the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him.” I’ve often wondered what Samson did when the Holy Spirit “stirred” him. Perhaps he was an ordinary young person that didn’t like doing chores. Thus, when his parents asked him to do something he didn’t like how did Samson “act out”? Did he go outside, pick up a corner of the house, and lift it off the ground?

Haggai 1:14 says: “So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God,”

7. The sudden “Presence” of the Spirit. There is a reason you should completely yield to the Spirit when his presence suddenly appears. It’s because of what the Holy Spirit does. He speaks and operates in supernatural ways. Thus, he has manifested himself to do something extraordinary! Always stop what you’re doing and yield to the Spirit.

8. “Filling” of the Spirit. After initially occurring in Acts 2, it continued happening to Christians of the first century in Acts. In fact, those Baptized in the Spirit can experience numerous “refillings.”

John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit in Elizabeth’s womb. How is this possible? He was filled with the Spirit before he believed in Christ. But didn’t Jesus say regarding children that “such is the kingdom of God”? Since children are members of God’s Kingdom, John was qualified to be filled with the Spirit.

(Insight) How do you know the Holy Spirit has arrived and shown up in most of these ways we experience him? It is this: The atmosphere changes and a presence from another world appears! A wondrous weight and glory rests upon your soul, which is called the “kabod,” or glory, of the Spirit.

9. The Spirit “sat upon” (Acts 2:1—4). This was a visible demonstration that an individual was filled with the Holy Spirit.

10. The Spirit “rested upon” God’s people. A notable instance of this is when the Spirit “rested upon” the 70 Elders of Israel (Numbers 11:25).

What’s interesting about the word “rested” (“nuach”) is that it is a verb that denotes an action of the Spirit that endures for a length of time. The word, “nuach,” means “to settle down, to lay upon, to be quiet (at peace), to remain,” and even “be allied with an individual. Thus, when the Holy Spirit rests upon someone he is there to endure for a season and assist that person in accomplishing a task.

11. The Spirit “overshadowed her” (Luke 1:35). It was this experience that brought about the conception of Christ by Holy Spirit.

12. The Spirit “descended upon” Jesus (Luke 3:22). As it relates to the Holy Spirit, the specific wording “descended upon” only refers to Christ Jesus. However, by implication, this happens to all Believers since the Spirit descended from Heaven to Earth.

13. The “Spirit lifted me.” “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia in the vision given by the Spirit of God. Then the vision I had seen went up from me” (Ezekiel 11:24; 43:5).

14. The Spirit “brought” a person (Ezekiel 11:24; 37:1; 43;5).

15. The Spirit took away (Acts 8:39). Strongs Concordance defines “took away” with the following words: “to seize, carry off by force; to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly; to snatch out or away.

16. God “poured out” the Spirit. Ezekiel 39:29 says: “I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

(NOTE: The remember of this message offers no additional insight other than identifying the ways the Spirit manifests himself to Believers)

17. The Spirit “testifies” (Romans 8:16).

18. The Spirit “intercedes” (Romans 8:26).

19. The Spirit “renews.”

20. The Spirit’s “hand” was on me (Ezekiel 34).

21. The Spirit “seized” me (Ezekiel ).