How Do I Become Friends with the Holy Spirit? Summer Blog Club Week 1

 

Miraculous true stories of people led by God’s Spirit have been told for generations. Pastors, medical missionaries, and believing men and women manning mission outposts experienced intimate friendship with God. Reading about their adventures generations later called my heart to desire His Spirit’s work in me, too. 

I went into full time mission work. And then I got married and became a mom.

For many summers, Dennis and I attended annual training events in Colorado with our entire family for the ministry of Cru. We usually tacked on a week of vacation in the mountains to make the work of packing a family of eight to travel in our SUV for 1100 miles (each way) worth the effort. 

Normal family challenges followed us west every summer. When my kids were well and all in the camp childcare I attended all the meetings. I loved learning more about God. But when a child was sick I had to stay in our tiny apartment.

On one day during the summer of 1985, a much-anticipated time of refreshment from a favorite Bible teacher along with heart lifting music, was snatched from my grasp. I wrote this in my journal: 

 “I really wanted to go to the meetings today especially because this is the day of praise and worship. But here I am in the apartment being a mother to a sick child. Mothering doesn’t stop. Their needs don’t stop. Once again I am isolated and my husband is not. I’m not feeling sorry for myself … this time. I know I can worship anywhere. I’m sorting out my feelings about how to know closeness with God as a mom.”

I was always inspired by speakers and missionaries, telling stories of God’s work around the world. But on that day I began to wonder why I never heard a woman—a mother—stand on stage and share how she experienced God in her life … with her children … in her home. It seemed to be a void. Did God only work wonders “out there?”

The question, “If the Holy Spirit dwells in and with me and other Christian mothers I know, how do I see Him work in my life, in my sometimes very little unexciting world?” lodged itself in my thinking and remained for a long time. 

Here are two of my conclusions to my long-prayed question.

1. Knowing the Holy Spirit, as I’d always hoped, is a lot like growing a friendship. 

The Holy Spirit is God and He is also a Person. My husband is a person with a name, Dennis, but he is also my friend, my companion, my comforter, my lover, my defender, and more. My children, now adults, have names, too, but they have also become, friend, adviser, encourager, and life-long companions. To enjoy the depth and variety of all these relationships, we plan time together. We go to lunch or dinner, talk, text, and share life together as much as we can, even though we all live in different cities and states.

The Holy Spirit is a Person with names too, and those help us know Him. He relates to us in ways we can understand from our closest human relationships and friendships. The Holy Spirit is also importantly one with God, the Father, and with Jesus. He is the third member of the Trinity. 

While understanding the Spirit is fully God, possessing all attributes of deity, also knowing His names and the ways He relates to you and me, makes His invisible presence seem nearer in my ordinary world.

2. The Holy Spirit is my dearest friend. 

My best friend on earth is my husband. We have shared life together for almost five decades. In that journey, we have talked about everything together, suffered losses together, loved each other in sickness and health, good and bad times. We have proven we are with each other forever. We promised to never leave or forsake and we have never wavered from those vows, even when our marriage felt impossible.

But even a great marriage is temporary. There is always the reality that one of us might die before the other. But the Spirit is always with me

What a delight to know I have a friend even closer than my husband! In John 15:15 Jesus says, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friendsfor all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

When I received Christ as my Savior, Jesus came to dwell in me by His Spirit. Romans 8:9 tells us, “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.” It is the Spirit of Christ who lives in me; therefore He is my dearest Friend! 

Is the Holy Spirit your friend?

Pause and ponder this for a second: the Holy Spirit, present at creation with God the Father and God the Son, desires a friend relationship with you. A real face-to-face relationship. Does that stun you with wonder?

I felt a little odd at first calling the Spirit my Friend. It sounded presumptuous. But as I’ve talked to Him more and more, asked Him to guide me, reveal Himself to me, shared my life with Him, I’ve become increasingly comfortable calling Him Friend. He is not offended at all by my familiarity with Him. In fact, He invites it and desires it.

This Person who can change my heart to love the unlovable, give me wisdom that I’m not smart enough to produce on my own, and teach me the mysteries of God, proves Himself my dearest friend. No human on earth has done more for me! These personal miracles of work in my heart are what I longed to experience from the missionary stories I heard and read. 

The Spirit Jesus sent on Pentecost can be your best Friend because He is always with you. Before I believed and gave my life to Jesus, I only hoped God was with me. I knew about Him but didn’t know Him personally. But when I surrendered my life to Him and invited Him to live within me, the Spirit of Christ came to dwell both in and with me! He has been given to be my constant companion.

When Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, He said, “He will be with you forever” (John 14:16). So no matter where you go, He is always with you. You will never outgrow this friendship. You’ll never mature out of this friendship. You’ll never drift apart from this dear Friend.

David said in Psalm 139:7, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” You cannot escape Him, because if you are a child of God He promised never to leave you.

Like God the Father delights in us His children, so the Spirit delights in hearing from us. He listens to our challenges, our prayers, even our questions and doubts. This is how we experience God.

Moms understand this. 

Moms know our children very well yet delight in listening to their faltering prayers to God, their questions … well, sometimes … and their exuberant tales of discovering and learning things we have known for decades.

The Holy Spirit longs to converse with you. He’s waiting to listen and be heard. Do you want to become friends with Him too?

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18 thoughts on “How Do I Become Friends with the Holy Spirit? Summer Blog Club Week 1”

  1. I gave my life to Jesus many years ago & served him with my whole heart. Struggles have made my heart very sad & feel I was possibly very naive and viewed Jesus role in an incorrect way since I now still believe but feel very little hope that things will change & feel more of what happens is in my hands & in just accepting what is instead of hanging onto what I hope and ask Jesus to do. Hanging onto those things have only made me more sad & I currently receive more peace from accepting what is. I dont think my current relationship which is different than it was makes me an unbeliever but some of your statements seem to say that. What are your thoughts?

    1. Barbara Rainey

      Hi Kristin – Thank you for writing us. I think I understand what you mean by accepting what is. That is part of the Christian life, taking what is given and learning to see God’s hand in the midst of it while continuing to believe Him by faith for His changes in His timing.
      As to your being an unbeliever I’m sorry what I wrote made you think that. It was not my intention. And from what you wrote it is clear you are. You gave your life to Jesus. I hope you will keep reading our blog for encouragement in your faith and may you grow in the knowledge of Christ.

  2. Kathy Ballard Carpenter

    This is truly amazing! Thank you. I never thought to call the Holy Spirit my Friend. This is a wonderful way to think of Him, because I have often felt lonely and needed a Friend although I have Friends.. You are truly blessed to have a best Friend in your Husband too. My Husband was never a Christian, and he left me for someone else after 26 years of marriage. It hurt me so much. I can’t imagine having a large Family. I felt challenged in so many ways just having one child. Use admire you. It was hard being a Christian Mom trying to teach her the things of God in a house divided… I so wanted to be a great Mother, because I did lack that in my life. Although I did love my mother tremendously, I wasn’t brought up in a Christian home and didn’t know the things of God. I SO enjoy listening to your Husband and his show. They have some very interesting people on there. As a matter of fact, recently the show having Hank Parker on it really blessed me even though I don’t fish. His testimony was awesome! My brother is a big fisherman or was before he had cancer. He fished a lot for money too. He is the only Family I have left other than my Daughter. I have lost so many people. My brother really likes Hank Parker. I think he admires him. I was thinking how I would love to get my brother to meet him somehow, because Mr.Parker grew up not too far away being in Maiden. I couldn’t believe it. He is someone that might be able to touch my brother’s heart. He is a tough one. I want my brother to know our wonderful Lord and Savior! I so don’t want him to die before he is saved! I can talk to the Holy Spirit about this now I know just like I would my best Friend. I am 57 and have lost so many people beside Grandparents, my Mother (9 years ago), my biological Father(47 years ago due to failed murder & attempted suicide of my Family… He was shot and killed), my sweet StepFather (3 years ago), my Baby sister when she was 42 (14 years ago) and then 9 months later my Brother at 52 (then immediately found out my oldest Brother had cancer too but he didn’t die), my Mother-in-law and Best Friend (25 years ago), my Father-in-law (26 years ago), my Brother-in-law at 45 (12 years ago), my oldest Sister at 63 (4 years ago) my second Mom (last year) and my best Friend from 3rd grade when we were 29 (17 years ago) who was her Daughter and my new Husband of 4 years who was thankfully a Christian (2 years ago). My Uncle, Aunt, and 2nd Cousin (all last year). All the Family I have left are my Daughter, Brother (not married), and 1st Cousin. Most of my actual Family above died of cancer and I was care giver to many above I lost. It took a toll on me. I also had cancer but didn’t die praise God, but a lot of chronic pain and now disabled. He has something for me to do. Maybe the Holy Spirit will help me figure it out. I know I got off the subject sorry. I thought maybe you or someone reading this could help me understand how to put these things behind me and move on looking to a bright future and learn what God has for me to do for Him and how I can open my heartland mind to listen to the Holy Spirit. Thank you and God bless your wonderful ministry.

    1. Crystal Stewart

      How deep the pain of searing loss… The Father turns His face away.

      When we are faced with this kind of deep loss we feel abandoned, alone, without a friend. I lost my husband of 20 years 1 year ago. It has been an emotional and spiritual wilderness. One where I have cried out to my God and heard nothing in reply. How hard it is to go through this wilderness without the feeling of His presence, without the sense of the constant companion who has carried you and comforted you in times past. Faith is lost when you are left with a hollow~ deep nothingness. How you long to have it, to feel the confidence of hope, when all you are left with is an empty void.

      A dear friend told me~ keep the conversation going. Even when you don’t feel a reply. Even when all is dark and loss and grief and pain. Even when the silence rules. When solitude is your only companion. Keep the conversation going….I am now walking out of the wilderness. I now see my God was with me in the pain, in the silence, in the dark solitude. My friend. I now hear his whispers, his love, his gentle response. I see that there was no way around the wilderness, and no one who could walk through it with me. I had to go alone. I had to find my God. There is an encounter with God that you can only have in the wilderness. He prepared my wilderness for me.

      All I can tell you is to keep the conversation going…
      He will carry you out of your wilderness…

      1. Barbara Rainey

        Beautiful and encouraging words, Crystal! I’m so sorry for the loss of your husband but admire how you’ve continued to seek the Lord through the wilderness and your devastating loss. Thank you for taking time to share them with Kathy and all of us!

  3. Annette McClain

    Thank you for doing this. I look forward to it.🤗. I have talked to the holy spirit as my friend, a lot of times in the car the empty seat he is with me chatting. Sometimes I blast worship music other times listen to your husband or Greg Laurie, sometime it is silenced and it’s just listening, being still.
    I an excited to grow deeper. Thank you barbra

    1. Barbara Rainey

      Annette–Thank you for your kind words! Love that you listen to Dennis and that you feel encouraged by the Holy Spirit through FLT. Praying this series will challenge you and grow your relationship with Him!

  4. Hi Barbara.

    I talk to God daily and I can say I’m so much better at this whole relationship thing than when I first started, very formally. I do stop throughout the day when things get tough or great and I do a quick bonding, like a phone call or text message to share.
    The only thing I’m having difficulty with is the listening part. How do I know if this is not just my voice or intuition, or even the enemy trying to break the bond. I thought it was God talking and consoling me on an issue that I was waiting to happen, and recently the opposite happened to my dismay.

    Thanks

  5. This is a great sight, I haft to admit I never thought of talking with the holy spirit, and always wondered when I spent time with God as I asked questions I wonder if that was answers or me just thinking and answering myself how will i really know it is answer from holy spirit.

  6. I tried to join the club but was unable to because we live in Malawi and do not have a postal code. Suggestions?

    1. Barbara Rainey

      Barb — we are so glad you want to join us as we look more closely at the Holy Spirit this summer! Feel free to use our postal code so you can subscribe! 72223. :)

  7. Thank you, Barbara! Beautifully written (as always). Love the scripture references, too. With gratitude and blessings!

  8. MIchelle Hepner

    “I love what you have started here.” I could not survive my Christian walk w/out the Holy Spirit.”
    The Holy Spirit is my best friend. But, Idk if I have ever called him my friend; I usually use that name for Jesus and God. Which is interesting… as they r all in the trinity.

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