The Holy Spirit Hovers
Before we came to faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit was already at work convicting us concerning our need for Jesus Christ. Once we receive Christ, every believer has the Spirit to strengthen, empower and guide. Often referred to as the “Comforter”, from the Greek word paraklete [one who comes alongside], the Holy Spirit is our promised friend who reminds us what Christ has done and said.
The Holy Spirit is first mentioned in the second verse of the Bible when the earth was “without form and void, and the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters”. This reminds us of a bird hovering in the sky. To hover can also be described as “to move” or “to brood”, like a hen over her eggs. A more modern word would be “incubate”.
When the pre-creation earth was without form and void – in chaos, the Holy Spirit hovered just as the Spirit hovers over us when chaos threatens. Then came the words; “let there be light”, because the Holy Spirit works inside of us to bring light and direction.
Some suggest that the Holy Spirit reminds us of our sins and failures, but that is in stark contrast to Jesus’ words that the Spirit is our friend who reminds us of everything that Jesus has done and said. He never speaks of his own, but constantly points us to Christ. No one wants a friend, who constantly nags about our shortcomings and failures. Imagine a person visiting you on a daily basis pointing out the flaws with your house, the interior decorating, your clothing and your opinions. Wouldn’t you shun such a person?
Years ago I heard her well-known Pentecostal preacher describe the Holy Spirit as the bloodhound of heaven that chases the sinner, like the dog its prey. If anything, such characterizations would cause us to not want to have anything to do with the Holy Spirit.
No, Jesus made it clear that the Holy Spirit is a friend forever, who never stops comforting, strengthening and guiding. But there is more; we are invited to become co-workers with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said that those who believed on him would receive the Holy Spirit to flow from their innermost being like rivers of living water, [John 7:37 -39]. On the day of Pentecost this became a reality, but not only for those early disciples, but for all people in all generations who will believe on Jesus Christ.