Ghost Stories

I remember growing up, staying over at a friends house was something really cool to do.  Not only did you get to play with someone else’s stuff, but you also got to eat someone else’s food, and experience someone else’s home life.  I was blessed with a few friends that I got to have sleepovers with during my elementary school years.  The fun part about sleepovers was that, no matter how hard your friend’s parents tried, there was no going to sleep (at least very early).

I remember sleeping over at my friend Jeremy’s house a few times. Jeremy lived around the block from me, and we would hang out after school all the time.  When it was sleepover time, we played games, or built stuff out of Legos, or just basically tormented his younger brother.  When bed time came, we liked to tell stories.  Jeremy loved to tell ghost stories.  You know, the kind of story I’m talking about, right? Basically, it was a made up, or half-true story, with the sole intent of scaring the other person as much as humanly possible.  He was a good storyteller, and a lot of his stories centered around ghosts that you couldn’t see, but could only hear, sense, or occasionally touch.  He liked the mystery of the story more that the really gross stuff (Although, that was always a close second).

The idea of some disembodied spirit lurking around us is nothing new.  When something out of the ordinary happens, with no rational explanation, people still joke that, “Maybe it was a ghost!”  Why? Perhaps it’s because we’ve heard something similar on TV, or in the movies.  Or, maybe it is just an expression we use to explain something that is unexplainable.

If you look at the TV shows that are broadcast in the USA right now (Including cable networks), there is a ton of programing that focuses on the supernatural. Our society is obsessed with the thought that there is something out there that we can’t see, but that interacts with us on a regular basis.  And, a lot of shows focus on the “good” or  the “bad” supernatural.  In other words, they propose that there are supernatural forces of good and forces of bad lurking among us.

In the Bible, we read quite a bit about these forces. We have Satan and his demons on the bad side, and God and his angels on the good side.  However, while it seems fairly easy to believe in demons and the devil, many of us don’t fully grasp the God part of the supernatural world that surrounds us.  Why? I can’t definitively answer that.  Maybe it’s because we are allowing media to inform us rather than God’s word.  Maybe it’s because we see more evil around us than good.  There are a myriad of reasons; each personal and unique.

My point is that we tend to forget, or neglect, the most powerful force on our planet.  In the old King James version of the Bible, this force is often referred to as the Holy Ghost.  Today, most people would refer to the third part of the Trinity as the Holy Spirit.  In the original language of the New Testament, he was the pneuma (pronounced Noo-mah).  This Spirit, this power is all around us, and vital to our survival.

Check out how important Jesus said the Holy Spirit is to us.

  • He is God (John 4:24)
  • He gives eternal life (John 6:63)
  • He leads to all truth (John 14:17)
  • He is the communication conduit for God (John 16:13)

Wow! This Holy Spirit being sounds pretty impressive and important.  But, it doesn’t seem like he directly interacts with us.  How does he work with humans on a regular basis?  Paul tells us a lot about how the Holy Spirit relates to our daily lives. Check this out:

  • He raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 1:4)
  • He changes our hearts (Romans 2:29)
  • He changes the way we think (Romans 8:5-6; 12:1)
  • He helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26)
  • He gives us special abilities (1 Corinthians 12:1)
  • He is our guide (Galatians 5:16)
  • He transforms us into a new person (2 Corinthians 3:18)

And the list could go on, and on, and on.  Do you see it? The Holy Spirit is the very power of God. He is the supernatural force that gives us victory instead of defeat.  He sustains us.  He provides for us.  He makes us into a better person. He is AWESOME!

Yet, so often we don’t give him the credit for the work he is trying to do.  Instead, we rely on our own wisdom, on our own power to accomplish things in life.  Some even rely on their own good work to earn them a place in Heaven, rather than relying on the Holy Spirit to get them there (A losing strategy/tragedy).

The Spirit of God is what this Christian life is all about.  If we ignore it, then we are lost. If we refuse it, we are dead.

So, you may be asking: “How do I tap into this power?” I’m glad you asked.  It’s very simple, really.  The apostle Peter was asked the same question.  Here is his reply in Acts 2:38:

Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

This message that Peter preached was a result of following a command that Jesus had instructed his followers to do.  It’s found in the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19:

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Put your faith in God, be baptized in the name of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and you will receive the Spirit of God.  For those who have already been baptized, the Holy Spirit resides within you.  You can talk to it, interact with it; but, most importantly, you need to listen to it.  The Holy Spirit is your guide, your shepherd in this life.  He receives all wisdom directly from God, and will never give you bad directions.  He’s talking; are you listening?

If you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, may today be that day.  If you want to experience the very power of God, he is ready to give his Spirit to you.  It’s yours for the asking. So, ask.

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