THE FUNCTIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
REV. DR. JANET ONAOLAPO
TEXT: JOHN 16:7
A function is an action or an activity proper to a person. It is a purpose for which something exists or is designed. It is the role of something. For instance, the function of a microphone is to accept words spoken into it and amplify it for people to hear. That is the purpose for which it is designed and the activity that is proper to it.
The first thing we need to know about the Him is that He is a permanent and consistent ally who we should connect with and have a mutual relationship with. Get connected to Him so that you will not short change yourself in any way. There is so much to gain from associating with the Holy Spirit. No wonder Jesus Christ told His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they received the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit functions in the following ways
1. AS OUR COMFORTER:
Some other versions of the Bible say that the Holy Spirit is our “Advocate”. An advocate is a person who pleads the cause of another in the court of law; speaks or writes in favour or support of a person. In John 16:7 and John 14:16, we are made to understand that the Holy Spirit is our comforter. We live in a world that is largely anti-God with lots of oppositions, persecution, losses and troubles but in the midst of every trouble, the Holy Spirit is the source of our comfort. He consoles us by reassuring us of our faith and makes us physically comfortable. He encourages us and relieves us of our afflictions. The Bible tells us that with the comfort of the Holy Spirit, we can also comfort others.
If you have ever enjoyed the comfort of the Holy Spirit, you will understand what I am talking about. I can testify to the comfort of the Holy Spirit in my life over and over again. After the demise of my husband Bishop Kola Onaolapo, I was confused. I wondered where I would go or what I would do. I told the Lord that I could not continue the ministry work from where he had stopped alone and He came to my rescue. I thank God because since that time, I have been enjoying the comfort of the Holy Spirit. The church has also enjoyed it. When you have the comfort of the Holy Spirit, you can never be depressed, oppressed or relegated to the background. He will take away every grief and lift your head when it should be bowed.
2. AS OUR COUNSELOR – ISAIAH 11:2
A counselor is a person who counsels and gives advice. If you have ever reached a crossroad where you had to take a decisive step but you did not know how to go
about it, you will understand the guidance of the Holy Spirit – John 16:13.
In Proverbs 20:27, the phrase “the belly” is not just talking about the physical belly but it is talking about the depth of your heart, soul and mind. Your spirit is the candle of the Lord. When God created us, He put a spirit in us that spirit is like a candle. A candle is a potential light giver.
When you buy a candle and light it, you believe that it will give you light in the absence of electricity. But in Psalm 18:28, we are made to understand that though a candle may be available, it cannot illuminate a place until you light it up. Without the light, a candle is darkened. That is also what happens to your spirit. Without the Holy Spirit illuminating your spirit, you will be in darkness, you will not be able to know what to do or how to go about anything. Your spirit is the candle of the Lord. It searches and thinks about what you are going to do about any problem or situation but as soon as the Holy Spirit lights that candle up, your darkness will be enlightened and you have clear direction.
Our eyes are supposed to give us sight but when we are in any dark room, no matter how big ours eyes are, we will not be able to see anything with them. It is only when there is a ray of light in the room that we will be able to see anything because the light has come in contact with our eyes. This is exactly how things are with us in different areas of our lives. Your spirit like a candle is blinded and not effective until the Lord lightens the candles with which we can see. That candle is our spirit.
Sometime early this year, a sister told me that she was going to quit her job due to different challenges she was having. The company where she was working was undergoing crisis and staff salary was being owed for months. I listened to her carefully as she narrated all that she was going through. After she had finished narrating everything, I prayed with her. But as I was praying, the Holy Spirit asked me to tell her not to quit the job. I told her what the Lord had said and she obeyed. She went back and continued with the job.
After a while, the company where she was working picked up again and began to make progress. Many workers had resigned without getting their unpaid salaries at that time but only she and one other worker remained. Some workers who left are still looking for jobs but this sister with the other person who chose to stay behind, were paid the salaries they were owed and promoted. She listened to the counsel of the Holy Spirit.
3. AS OUR HELPER – ROMANS 8:26
A helper is an assistant or a friend. To HELP someone is to make things easier for that person. A helper may not take that challenge from you but he or she will assist you in the best way they can. Because life is not always a bed of roses, we need the
help of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, God calls us to do certain things which may be difficult for us. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in to help us. When you come face to face with any great task which may make you wonder how you will succeed in it, just hand it over to the Holy Spirit. Whatever is too much for you to handle is never too much for the Holy Spirit. He will help you and can never allow you to be stranded.
From Romans 8:26, we understand that the Holy Spirit is our helper. He helps our weaknesses and infirmities. I have enjoyed the help of the Holy Spirit on several occasions I may not be able to recount. Sometimes, when people tell me that I am strong, I just laugh and tell them that it is not about me being strong but it is about the Holy Spirit helping me to stay strong.
4. AS OUR STRENGTHENER
A strengthener is a source of great strength. That is what the Holy Spirit is. He strengthens us whenever we are weak. We draw our strength from Him. That is why the Bible says: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
There are some Sundays when I would feel too weak and tried to come to church but the moment, I step my feet on the altar, an unusual strength just comes upon me and I become energized to minister as the Lord wants me to. Ministers will understand what I am talking about.
In the book of Judges, the Bible tells us that when Samson was going for his traditional marriage, a lion suddenly appeared and roared against him. Everyone that was with him ran away leaving Samson alone. Instead of running away, the Bible tells us that the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him to strengthen him. With that strength, he fought with the lion and tore it into pieces with his bare hands. Samson couldn’t have done that with his strength. It was the Holy Spirit that gave him the strength to fight and defeat the lion.
When you commune with the Holy Spirit, you can never experience defeat. Another example can be seen in the book of Acts 14:19 that tells us the story of Apostle Paul who was preaching the gospel but some people came and scattered what he was doing. They stoned him and dragged him out of the city. Though the disciples were around, they could not do anything. As they stood thinking he was dead and wondered what they would do with his body, the Holy Spirit suddenly came upon him and he stood up. He went back to the same city from where he was dragged out and continued preaching the gospel.
I pray that when you think you don’t have strength anymore; the Holy Spirit will give you strength. If for any reason you’re losing focus of whatever God has assigned to you, stick to the Holy Spirit and He will give you strength to carry on. No wonder Jesus said that He needed to go away before the Holy Spirit would come to us. If he had not gone, we wouldn’t have had access to the Holy Spirit.
A woman once testified of how her son who was involved in an accident got trapped under a truck. She was really scared and to worsen the matter, there was no one around to help the boy out from where he was stuck. In her confused state, she asked the Holy Spirit to help her. She began to speak in tongues and before she could fathom what was happening, strength suddenly came upon her and by herself, she raised up the truck, lifting it high enough for her son to crawl out. That was how her son was rescued from under the truck. The mystery of this testimony is that, after the incident when four men tried to lift up that truck, they couldn’t. The strength of four men cannot be compared to the strength of the Holy Spirit.
5. AS OUR INTERCESSOR – EXODUS 32:10-14
An intercessor is a person who prays to God on behalf of another person. He is someone who stands to plead the cause of one to another. An Intercessor is also called an advocate. From this, you can see that the functions of the Holy Spirit are interwoven. For instance, if you offend someone who is not in speaking terms with you, you may approach the spouse of that person who you believe is the closest person to him or her to plead on your behalf. You will take that step because you believe that, that person would surely listen to the plea of his/her spouse. That is how it is with the Holy Spirit. When God is not happy with you and plans to do something to punish you, the Holy Spirit will stand in the gap for you and plead on your behalf. God will hear the plea of the Holy Spirit and forgive you. From the above text, we can how Moses pleaded for and interceded on behalf of the children of Israel when God was not happy with them and God refrained from punishing them.
6. AS OUR TEACHER – JOHN 14:26, 16:13
The Holy Spirit is our teacher who teaches and instructs us in all things. As a student, you may have done your best in preparing for an examination but you still need the Holy Spirit to come in. As you invite the Holy Spirit, He will take you from the natural into the spiritual. Are you going into a business and you don’t know how to go about it, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what to do and He would.
7. AS OUR STANDBY – JOHN 15:26
A standby is a person who is always in a state of readiness to help. He may not have any immediate involvement but when needed, He will be ready for any unforeseen situation. You can rely on the Holy Spirit when there is an emergency irrespective of the magnitude. He is our standby waiting to be sent on an errand by us.
If you have a generator, you will understand what a standby is. You may be using the general electricity to do something very important and then it suddenly goes off. To continue what you’re doing, you will rush to put on the generator which is a standby. The Holy Spirit is your standby who has been appointed to always be with you. The Bible says that He will never leave you or forsake you – Hebrews 13:5.
You don’t have to be covetous about anything. Stay contented in the state you are in because you have everything. Anyone who has the Holy Spirit has everything. He has said that He will never leave you or forsake you. Begin to leverage on the Holy Spirit being in charge of everything in your life.
How can one get all these benefits of the Holy Spirit? It is simply by acknowledging His presence and communing with Him. When you wake up in the morning, instead of calculating and planning how to go about the day, ask the person (the Holy Spirit) who already knows how to do things to do it and He will.
Sometimes, we get so familiar with the Holy Spirit that we don’t pay any attention to Him. There are secret things that eyes have not seen, ears have not heard which the Lord can reveal to you by the Holy Spirit. All you need to do is to pay attention to the Holy Spirit. If you allow Him to lead you, you will never be oppressed, repressed or depressed. If you are still battling with depression, it is because you want to do things by yourself or you have refused to yield to the Holy Spirit when He tells you what to do. If you don’t listen to Him, you will be giving the devil room to kick you around.
The Holy Spirit is your comforter, counsellor, helper, teacher, standby, intercessor, strengthener, etc. Allow Him to do His job because He has been assigned to perform those specific roles in your life. If you have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, stop using the word “Something told me…” It is not “something” but the “Holy Spirit” that tells you things. All you need to do is to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and the way He works. Sometimes, when you follow the directives of the Holy Spirit and the outcome is not what you expect, do not worry or be discouraged. The reason is that the Holy Spirit can never lead you astray. You are
like a child trying to walk and falling, as you continue to try, you will be able to walk and also stand tall.
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