The world we live in very tangible. We see it with our eyes. We feel it with our hands. Yet the God we believe in is invisible. So how are we able to relate to our creator?
Mentally, we can do this by reading the stories in the Bible. But where does the passion for God come from? How do we know him in our heart? And how does God work miracles in our lives? How does he move mountains? The answer is simple—through the Holy Spirit. He is the metaphysical manifestation of God which came to us when the historical Christ left.
He is the presence, here and now, of God and his son Jesus Christ. When touched in a mysterious way by the Holy Spirit, we see God in all his glory. We know what before we only suspected. Then we feel God through our sixth sense. His love pours over us and our passion is aroused. Finally, we are the recipient of miracles and we know God lives. Surely, God has not forsaken us. He has sent us the Holy Spirit.
To understand the Holy Spirit more fully, we must embrace all the metaphors. They give form and substance to this reflection of Christ. They stir up emotions which lead to a profound intimate connection with God through the Holy Spirit. With each metaphor the reflection sharpens and reveals more about the nature of an invisible God. Here are examples of Biblical metaphors for the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is called a Gatekeeper because He acts. We wait at the Gate. Christ is on the other side. We are afraid and then the Holy Spirit opens the gate and invites us to embrace the Lord.
The Holy Spirit is called a Comforter because He is the caretaker of our emotions. What we cannot see we can feel. When I met the Holy Spirit it felt like falling into the arms of a lover. The emotions He stirred up in me made his presence known in a profound way.
The Holy Spirit is called a Counselor because He helps us think proper thoughts. He helps identify our sins. He encourages us to set sin aside and grow into healthy, spiritual people.
The Holy Spirit is compared to the wind because He is invisible. But the wind is not inert. It can pick up a feather and blow it anywhere.
The Holy Spirit is compared to a flame because He acts like a crucible, melting away our sins and transforming us into new creatures
The Holy Spirit is called an Emissary because He represents the master. Everything the Holy Spirit does is courtesy of a God who loves us. First came this historical Christ (flesh and blood) then the Holy Spirit—the invisible footprint in the sand.
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This is just a superficial list to give you some ideas of the power of metaphor. I encourage you to find your own manifestation of the Holy Spirit and draw closer to God through the power of imagery.
My image is that of a woman, named Spirit, who comforts and guides me. No matter how awful my life gets, I turn to this image of the Holy Spirit and find the solace I need. Does this mean think the Holy Spirit is a woman? No. This means I draw close to the Holy Spirit through an comforting image that works for me. Try this yourself and see if you don’t get closer to an amazing God who wants to get personal and intimate with you in a way that defies description.