Ineffable. Holy Spirit: Who or What? #17
8/27/2017 11:31:58 PM
Difficult to describe, difficult to explain.

Ineffable.      Holy Spirit: Who or What? #17 final.                                        ~incapable of being expressed in words:  indescribable




Love words, I do.                                                                                                                   Ineffable is a winner - some thing, action or some one you cannot aptly describe in words.  Moments we have experienced the magical, times we have felt the miraculous or perhaps the devastating . . . yet when we try to recount it, much is lost; there just aren’t words to capture it.  ‘You had to be there’ we say, shaking our heads once.   Ineffable.   


“His works are ineffable in majesty, and innumerable in quantity.                                                                                How can we even ponder what extends beyond the ages?                                         What did he do before creation began?                                                                           How great are the graces he showered on creation!                                                     What power will he wield in the age to come?                                                               He existed; He pre-existed; He co-existed with the Father and the Son before the ages. Even if you can imagine anything beyond the ages, you will discover that the Spirit is even further beyond.”                                                                               St. Basil the Great, circa 355 A.D.

Some of the sweetest moments I have had in my life were those when the Holy Spirit’s presence was palpable.  You know it when you are there, others sense it too ... but try to tell another about it?  You just cannot adequately do so.  Ineffable.     

In early July, I began this Morning Briefing series “Holy Spirit: Who or What?”  Through scripture and words of the saints of by-gone years, we established that the Holy Spirit is indeed a Who, one third of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, equal in all ways. Love how A.W. Tozer brilliantly explained that the Holy Spirit is not enthusiasm, 


                                                    or energy or the  

                                                       personification of all good qualities.1

The Holy Spirit has all the qualities of a person, 

           has substance but not material substance.

He has individuality; he is one being and not another.

He has will, 



          and knowledge 

            and sympathy 

              and ability to love 

                 and see 

                    and think 

                       and hear 

                          and speak 

                             and desire 

                                and grieve 

                                   and rejoice.

Present for all eternity, active at the time of Creation “...the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”2 Resting upon certain people in the Old Testament to task them with God-ordained purposes, the Holy Spirit was ever present.


Promised by Jesus to come to comfort, help, encourage and make known to us all things he [Jesus] had taught3

, indeed the Holy Spirit came with wind and tongues of fire to the faith-filled4in Jerusalem after Jesus ascended into Heaven.  And because the Holy Spirit now fills our hearts, we are never alone, we can walk in peace.  Peace is possible, in spite of circumstances, when we pray.5 Hmm, I was about 25 years old, when Jesus’ words became life to me: “Peace I leave with you

; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”6 I can only imagine what it would have been like to hear Jesus say that, locked with his tender, knowing eyes - as the disciples were that night.  O, to have been there!


Still and all, life with Jesus is incomparable.


Could you pick someone out of a line-up who is filled with the Holy Spirit?  Probably.  First and foremost, that guy is loving and unselfish, and has obvious character qualities.  [Paul called those fruit]7  Besides love, we see joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. 


Yeah, I love the Holy Spirit . . . as he leads, inspires, corrects, and enlightens me with truth.   Ineffable. And though that is true-though he and his work is difficult to explain and pin down in some ways--I know I want to be able to articulate and share just how big, how formational the Holy Spirit is in my life. So Ineffable? Maybe not so much, if I am clued in, intentional, and truly care to understand and share from my heart.  


If you missed any of this series, go to







1 - A. W. Tozer clip -

2 - Genesis 1.2b

3 -  John 14.26

4 -  Acts 2.2-3

5 - Philippians 4.6-7

6 -  John 14.27

7 -  Galatians 5.22-23