Haven't seen it, but I know it's there!
7/28/2017 11:16:32 AM
I haven't seen the wind, but I know it's there. I haven't seen God, but I can feel his presence, the difference he makes

Haven't seen it, but I know it's there!   (Holy Spirit: Who or What? #7)
podcast: http://www.pastorwoman.com/podcasts/22cf7e01-fba9-4341-8747-bca5dd363fc6.m4a

I have never seen the wind, but I have felt the effects of it
  ~blowing the hair around my face, 
      and drying my eyes
I have seen the effects of the wind
  ~bending trees in half, 
       creating whitecaps on the ocean
          blowing tumbleweeds across the highway, 
             and whipping sand into a storm.
And I have never seen God, but I have felt his presence.
I know the difference of walking outside when there is no perceptible wind,
and I know the difference of experiencing the presence and power of God
                                                or not.
Last week, I was asked to pick out a woman from a lineup ... not just any woman mind you.  Could I pick the one who was filled with the Holy Spirit?  Here's the "Sixty-four dollar question"1 for you:  
What does a Spirit-filled individual look like-in his heart, in his mind?
Would what is in his heart, mind and soul be reflected in his outward person?
           Hmmm . . .
Which brings us back to the basics - what does the Holy Spirit do in the lives of Christ followers today?  
The Holy Spirit breathes new life/God's life into new believers.
When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, there is "fruit" that can be seen in her life.  I have a big apricot tree in my backyard ... not surprisingly, that tree produces beautiful apricots that I pick and eat right off the tree and many others that I can.  That tree is meant to produce apricots, and not cherries.  It was Paul who described the 'fruit' that should be evident in the life of a Christian; fruit which happens to look a lot like character qualities!  The fruit of the Spirit is 
   peace,                     ->are these evident
     patience,                     in you?
And that self-control coupled with faithfulness?  Well, it proffers God's wisdom, which he promises if we but ask him. 'The wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere.'3  Notice the intersection of godly character and wisdom. 
The Holy Spirit gives us the assurance that we belong, that we are children of God.
How many times have I heard folks express hope that they would be good enough to make it to Heaven?  "God's Spirit makes us sure that we are his children."4 Huh, just as there was no doubt that I belonged to my mama-in my heart, in practice, in her eyes and devotion, there is no doubt that I am God's child.
There are other things which we will discuss in days to come, evidences of the Spirit in our lives, but the thing that has loomed so large for me, screamed off the pages of my Bible and out of the lyrics of songs lately is this:
The life of the person filled with the Holy Spirit is 
characterized first and foremost by LOVE.
She would want to experience more of God's love;
he would want to love God more ...
She would want to love others unconditionally;
he would want to express that love in ways that could be understood.
"They'll Know We are Christians by Our Love" wasn't just a 60's hippie song; it is to be 
personal-   'hey, may just know I am a Christian if I love them!'
When the Holy Spirit is in our lives, we are freed from ourselves to love others well.
The final identifying element for the woman I would pick out from a lineup is meant for all of us ... and dang, I hope you've got it.  Because if you do not, you are lacking.  Up next!
1 - 64 dollars was the largest prize on a popular radio quiz show in the 1940s
2 - Galatians 5.22-23
3 - James 3.17, CEV
4 - Romans 8.16, CEV