I’ve never been to a family reunion but I’ve talked to others who have. Some families are loud and crazy while others are conservative and formal. However, the one common thread in all the stories has to do with the weird uncle. The one everyone either ignores or avoids.
In some stories the uncle is crazy and obnoxious. Other stories paint the picture of the drunk uncle that sits by the bar, mumbling unintelligibly to anyone in earshot.
In all cases, the uncle is reluctantly invited while hoping he won’t come to the event. Sometimes he shows up and makes a scene that everyone tries to handle quickly and efficiently. Other times he sits quietly in the corner. But like it or not, he’s family so he’s invited.
Here Comes Uncle H!
More often than not, I’ve seen Holy Spirit treated like the drunk uncle in a family reunion. Nobody really gets Him and nobody knows what will set Him off so they ignore Him or avoid Him. When He does come around, everyone is quick to explain His behavior as best they can.
One day I heard a friend refer to Holy Spirit as Uncle H. When she explained the reference to the drunk uncle, I laughed out loud. But giving it more thought, I knew she was on to something.
“the” Holy Spirit
I’ve been intentional in growing my relationship with Holy Spirit and so I’ve been praying directly to Him more often. My whole life I’ve prayed to Jesus and to God; very rarely (if ever) to Holy Spirit.
I’ve often referred to Him as “the” Holy Spirit. I’ve also referred to Him as an “it”. Like He’s some kind of mystical, nebulous force that swirls around for awhile and then floats away.
Using the definite article “the,” just affirmed my distance in interacting with Him. I realized I don’t refer to “the” God or “the” Jesus but I had no problem referring to “the” Holy Spirit. Since then I’ve changed the way I address Him and it feels much more personal. He went from an “it” to a Person.
What’s The Big Deal?
The more time I spend studying my identity in Christ, the more I realize how critical it is that I have a right relationship with Holy Spirit. Jesus said that it was good that He would leave so that Holy Spirit would come to us (John 16:7). He’s the driving force behind the “spirit of adoption” and the “spirit of sonship”. If I don’t understand who He is and my access to Him, I’m going to revert to striving in my own strength.
I don’t know about you but I’m tired of being a hamster on a wheel with my understanding of this truth.
In the next few posts, I’m going to dig deeper into our relationship with Holy Spirit. I’m going to look at what it means to “walk in the spirit,” debunk some myths about the “conviction” of Holy Spirit and dig into my favorite chapter in the entire Bible (Romans 8).
If you’ve had your own questions about Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, I invite you to join me for this series. Let’s ask questions and seek them out from the One, who was left here to give us the answers.
Be honest, have you ever thought of Holy Spirit as the drunk uncle in the church?
How do you perceive Holy Spirit in your life? (I’m not talking about theologically, I mean experientially)