In the evenings, I often like to settle down on my owner’s shoulder and watch T.V. with him. And the other evening, we saw a very interesting programme about a human who travelled up to the top of Norway to see the Northern Lights. When they finally appeared, like a great many others, this human was moved to tears by the experience. And I’m sure it’s because those sweeping, dancing curtains of light awaken our souls to the presence of something which transcends all we know in this world. It can seem as though we’re coming face to face with the Holy Spirit and therefore with the power of God Himself, making the whole experience completely overwhelming.
Being a Christian parrot, I also know that God’s Holy Spirit is all around us, and quite often within us. It’s just that we can’t see it. There’d certainly be some light display if we could! Just imagine what it would like if we could glimpse those streams of spiritual energy crisscrossing our planet and setting up home inside so many of us. Streams of positive, vibrant energy propelled by pure love. Wow!
As it is, we can’t see the Holy Spirit, but there may be many occasions when we feel “touched” or “moved” by its presence. That’s certainly been my experience as a Christian parrot. But it doesn’t apply to everyone. Lots of humans like to believe they know everything and control the world around them so that their minds are switched off to the possibility of there being something greater than them. But do you really think that humans, parrots and the rest of creation would still exist here on Earth if the Holy Spirit hadn’t quietly intervened on different occasions? Because our world depends upon God’s “spiritual oxygen” to stay alive on a daily basis. The American preacher, Paul Washer is someone who came to realise this fact:
“I used to tell young preachers, in order to preach, you’ve got to have the power of God in your life. Now I tell them, in order to tie your shoes, you’ve got to have the power of God in your life.”
(Paul Washer: 1961-present: American evangelist).
But it also goes much deeper than this. Because when somebody allows the Holy Spirit to come inside them, they are offering God a platform from which to undertake His work here on Earth.
“Those in whom the spirit comes to live are God’s new Temple. They are individually and corporately places where Heaven and Earth meet.”
(N.T. Wright: 1948-present: New Testament Scholar, author and former Bishop of Durham).
There’s a big irony in the current state of affairs. Because humans always congratulate themselves about all of the things that they create and achieve. And yet had the Holy Spirit not been present, then their guns, their explosives and their nuclear weapons would probably have destroyed the world by now. And all the time, humans are building bigger and better rockets and spaceships in their quest to find other life forms in the universe, when in fact the giver and Creator of life is present all around them here on Earth. How funny (or sad) is that?
It's not only the world that should be grateful to the Holy Spirit, but all Christians should be too...
“Without the Holy Spirit, Christian discipleship would be inconceivable, even impossible. There can be no life without the life-giver, no understanding without the spirit of truth, no fellowship within the unity of the spirit, no Christlikeness of character apart from His fruit, and no effective witness without His power. As a body without breath is a corpse, so the church without the spirit is dead.”
(John Stott: 1921-2011: Prominent British Anglican cleric and theologian).
The Northern Lights are incredible. If I wasn’t a tropical bird, I might go on a migration to northern Norway to see them. But as it is, I don’t need to go anywhere to experience God’s Holy Spirit. It’s there for all of us, bringing God’s love and beauty into our lives and the world in which we live.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
(Actsof the Apostles 1:8).
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you?”