Who is the Holy Spirit, and what does the Holy Spirit do?
For some reason, we struggle to understand Him. God the Father makes sense to us. So does God the Son. At least somewhat.
Maybe we understand them better because the entire Old Testament focuses on God the Father, and the entire New Testament focuses on God the Son. Or maybe it’s because the idea of father and son fit within our realm of understanding. We each have an earthly father, so it’s not hard to imagine a heavenly one (though, for certain, many earthly fathers don’t create accurate pictures of our heavenly Father). We are also all sons or daughters so it’s not difficult to picture God the Son.
But God the Holy Spirit….He seems somewhat elusive and confusing.
The truth is, even though the Holy Spirit might not fit as neatly into our realm of understanding, there is still much we can learn about Him from the Word of God.
All this month here at Do Not Depart, we’re exploring the Holy Spirit: who He is and what He does.
Today, I want to dig into Romans 8 and let Paul explain two of His important roles.
Romans 8:26-27: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (NIV).
In this text, Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit fills two important roles.
2 Roles of the Holy Spirit from Romans 8:
He helps us in our weakness.
That means we are not alone in our struggles. He, our Helper, is with us all the time.
He intercedes for us in accordance with the will of God.
Have you ever been completely unsure what to pray for? Maybe you knew what you wanted, but had no idea if that was the best option or within God’s will for you. Or maybe you were so broken by the circumstances of your life you weren’t even able to utter a prayer.
It is in these moments-when we don’t know how to pray-that God the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.
I like to picture Him standing beside me, putting His arm around me as I attempt to put words together in prayer. He sees my feeble attempts and fills in the gaps before the Father.
The text is also clear that He intercedes in accordance with the will of God.
Many times I have prayed for something I wanted but then wondered, “Is this really what God wants for me or just what I want in my selfish flesh?”
After all, there are still many instances when my flesh rules the day.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the Holy Spirit as helper and intercessor, we can rest assured that everything we pray is being filtered through the Holy Spirit before the Father.
This list is definitely not exhaustive and Romans 8 is only one of many texts that talk about the Holy Spirit.
What is your favorite characteristic of the Holy Spirit? Share in the comments.