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Mark 1: 10 – 12

And immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heaves; “Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased.” And immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness.

You know this story. It is the account of when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. There is a lot to love in these three verses but I want to bring your attention to the Holy Spirit. there is so little we know about him. However, we can glean some insights through these mentions of him.

The first observation we may make is that the Holy Spirit is not invisible. We can see him. In fact, I have. Moreover, as soon as I saw him, I knew who it was. It was not scary in the least. Honestly, seeing him seemed completely normal as if he is supposed to appear in our lives every day.

Many people associate the image of a dove with the Spirit. I don’t really. I hear the “like a dove” describing the descent, the flight rather than the image. From what I saw, the Spirit was powerful and at the same time gentle. There absolutely was a graceful power in his visage, more like a ballet dancer than a football player.

Today’s verse also shows us that the Spirit can “impel” a person. Impel means to drive, force or urge someone to do something. Urge is the closest meaning. Otherwise the author would have used the word compel, which has a stronger meaning. God does not tend to force us into courses of action. He likes to suggest positive tracks but we get to choose. Jesus chose to follow the course the Spirit directed. He went out into the wilderness where he was tempted and tried but he proved himself and he put Satan on notice that there was a new Sheriff in town.

The Holy Spirit is with us as he was with Jesus. He can suggest paths for you as well. In truth, he probably already is. We have to develop our sense of hearing and that is fine. It is okay to walk before you run. Actually, I think it is suggested to learn in that fashion. Some of us like to jump straight into the deep water but it is okay to show wisdom and wade in first. Just pay attention to those little ideas that come to you during the day. If they are impelling you to lie or camouflage the truth, it’s not the Holy Spirit. If the idea sounds like something God would tell you to do, or if it lines up with Biblical principles, then it probably is the Spirit. I can promise you this, it you feel impelled to give something, it ain’t the devil. Listen to your spirit today, you just may hear the voice of The Spirit.

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