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Max Lucado on the Holy Spirit

Pastor and best-selling author Max Lucado answers three questions about how the Holy Spirit assists us.
Pastor and author Max Lucado; photo by Karen James
Credit: (c) 2017 Karen James
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Pastor Max Lucado is a speaker and best-selling author, with more than 145 million copies of his books in print. He currently serves the people of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. His latest book is Help Is Here: Finding Fresh Strength and Purpose in the Power of the Holy Spirit. He and his wife, Denalyn, have three children and two grandchildren.

1. How can the Holy Spirit become a practical help in our daily lives?

The idea that the Holy Spirit can help us on a day-to-day basis stirs a lot of questions for many people. Who is the Spirit? For whom does the Spirit exist? Does the Holy Spirit have a purpose? What exactly does the Holy Spirit do? I think we start by opening our minds to the possibility that we have a heaven-sent helper, the divine helper.

The presence of God seeks to be our friend. And for many people that’s a whole new idea because we’re trained in our culture that it’s me, myself and I. If I’m going to succeed, it’s because I pull myself up by the bootstraps. So for many the first step is opening yourself up to the possibility that you have an unfailing friend in the Holy Spirit. And that Holy Spirit is the presence of God active on earth today, who is ready to guide you and give you strength.

2. How can the Holy Spirit bring us peace?

The Holy Spirit descended at the baptism of Jesus. In the Gospel of Luke, it says the Holy Spirit came as a dove. I cannot think of a bird more peaceful, more calming. I believe the Holy Spirit comes like a dove to remind us that he is here to calm the world.

The first reference in the Bible to the Holy Spirit is in the very first book, the very first chapter: Genesis 1:2. The Spirit of God hovered over the deep. The creation had yet to begin. The world was just a teeming mass of fury, but the Spirit of God came and hovered, like an eagle hovering over a nest of eaglets to calm them down.

The Holy Spirit is ever present to calm us and help us. If we welcome the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, then we can develop the habit of talking to the Holy Spirit throughout the day, trusting in his leading, learning to hear his voice. That calming presence will help us, especially these days, when we deal with so much anxiety.

3. How does the Holy Spirit guide us?

On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus talked about the coming of the Holy Spirit and said, “The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth.” The Holy Spirit guides us by verse and voice, of which there are two types. Sometimes it’s that inner voice, that inner knowing. He may guide us through thoughts that we have, maybe through impulses. I realize this gets a bit mystical, but that’s the nature of the Holy Spirit. We have a voice within us. It’s more than a conscience. This is a voice within us telling us to turn this way or that, or to avoid this or to pursue that.

The second type is the voice of trusted friends, colleagues, family. People who wish you well, who desire what’s best for you, may contact you to say, “I’m thinking of you today. I’m praying for you.” Just today I felt an impulse to tell someone that they are very important in God’s plan. And it was so strong in my spirit to say it that, had I not said it, I would’ve felt as if I’d been disobedient. So I was that voice in the life of a friend.

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