Has the Holy Spirit made a difference in your life? Let me put it another way. Are you a different person since the Holy Spirit took up residence in your life?
That’s what happened to Saul. 1 Samuel 10 relates the story of Saul’s anointing as Israel’s first king. Samuel tells him that when the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him with power, he will be changed into a different man.
Although it wasn’t normally put into words like that, the Holy Spirit had that effect on people. In the Old Testament, those who received the Holy Spirit became wise, knowledgeable, and discerning leaders, or courageous fighters who led men into battle for the promised land. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit changed timid men into gifted public speakers and gave them the ability to heal diseases.
I guess the prophecy regarding Saul stuck with me precisely because it said in so many words, “You will be changed into a different man.” Did I become a different person after receiving the Holy Spirit? Did I change?
Certainly I’ve matured since that day in high school when I entered into a personal relationship with God. But I’d always been a compliant child, eager to please, obeying the rules, for the most part. There was no life of drugs or crime or rebellion that I turned away from. So, how did I change? I certainly hadn’t led any armies into battle, nor had I exhibited unusual wisdom, knowledge or discernment. If I hadn’t changed, did I really have the Holy Spirit living in me?
Then, I recalled a time when I entered an office where the lone secretary was dealing with a rather difficult man. Naturally timid, I normally avoid conflict situations. But this particular time, I “knew” I should not leave this woman alone until he left, and an unusual confidence accompanied my decision to stay. That was change.
Years later, during a rough time in my marriage, I told myself I didn’t need my husband. I never considered divorce, but no doubt that would have been the end result if I hadn’t changed. Despite my initial unwillingness and hardness of heart, I did change. I fell in love with my husband again. Only the Holy Spirit could have brought about that kind of change.
Another time, a friend uttered shocking personal criticisms that cut deep into my heart. In my own strength, I would have walked away and never interacted with her again. But the Holy Spirit changed me, giving me the strength to forgive and continue the relationship, without expecting an apology.
I didn’t experience the obvious, dramatic change that some people do, but the Holy Spirit always brings supernatural change to our life. Always.
How are you a different person because of the Holy Spirit in your life?