“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all.” Ephesians 4:4-6 (WEB)
The morning began with a tornado warning. We awoke, immediately preparing for the worst: if a funnel cloud was spotted, we would rush to the safest place in our house- the master bathroom. After preparing, we waited.
Wind whipped the tree branches, the inflatable man on the new pizzeria across the street blew over, rain and hail poured down and transformed the road into river rapids, but the storm passed without a real threat. We were safe, thank God.
The Holy Spirit is compared to a mighty storm in the book of Acts. Jesus had told his apostles that they “will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5, ICB) They were all together, waiting for something to happen, when the Spirit suddenly came onto them like a storm.
Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting… They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under the sky. When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language.” Acts 2:2-6 (WEB)
If we look at the Old Testament, there are many stories of people who were anointed as God’s prophets or judges or kings and then received the Holy Spirit.
King Saul was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the first king of Israel. “Samuel took a jar of olive oil. He poured the oil on Saul’s head.” Samuel 10:1 (ICB) Then Samuel told Saul that God wanted him to be the leader of His people. He also told Saul that the Spirit of the Lord would come on Saul, giving him the power to prophesy and be changed into a new man. (1 Samuel 10:6) It really happened.
“When Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart. All these signs came true that day. When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, Saul met a group of prophets. The Spirit of God entered him. And he prophesied with the prophets.” Samuel 10:9-10 (ICB)
The story of King Saul has an important lesson for us. After many years of ruling and following God’s calling for him, the Lord told Saul to attack another nation and destroy everything that belongs to them. It would be considered an offering to the Lord. Saul did defeat the nation, but he kept the best sheep and cattle alive.
Saul’s disobedience caused God to reject him as king of Israel (1 Samuel 15: 11, 26-29), and then the Lord’s Spirit left Saul (1 Samuel 16:14). Saul was tormented when he lost the Spirit. That’s because the Holy Spirit is mighty like a storm, but it is actually our security.
David, the son of Jesse, was the next anointed king of Israel.
“So Samuel took the container of olive oil. Then he poured oil on Jesse’s youngest son to appoint him in front of his brothers. From that day on, the Lord’s Spirit entered David with power.” 1 Samuel 16:13 (ICB)
David was anointed. He was chosen for God’s purpose. And David was a righteous choice; though he sinned, his heart was right with God, and the Lord’s Spirit never left him.
Isaiah prophesied of Jesus Christ receiving the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 11:1-2 says “And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots shall be fruitful; and the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah.” (DARBY)
We are told that Jesus had “the power of the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:14, ICB) after his baptism.
“He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-21 (WEB)
Christians are anointed through baptism to become God’s people, and through our baptism, we can receive the Holy Spirit: the spirit of wisdom, of understanding, of counsel and might, knowledge, and the fear of God. Once we have the Holy Spirit within us, we are called to be like Jesus: tell the good news of God’s kindness to all people, comfort those who are sad and with broken hearts, tell the captives of sin that they are set free, and warn everyone that God will punish all who refuse Him. (Isaiah 61:1-2)
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts. It is known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ that he sent through us. This letter is not written with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is not written on stone tablets. It is written on human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:2,3 (ICB)