I grew up in a religious tradition that placed an extraordinary emphasis on the Holy Spirit and certain aspects of His work. There was the “Holy Ghost Crusade”, people got “Holy Ghost Goosebumps”, the “dove” was plastered on church walls and banners, every strange idea or thing – real or imagined – was attributed to the “moving of the Spirit.”
People claimed visions and messages from the Lord which were often nothing more than repetitions of Biblical ideas or cockamamie signs of self-worship. We boasted in being “Spirit-filled” rather than simple followers of Christ.
Show me people infatuated with the Holy Spirit and I’ll show you people who have gone astray from Jesus.
Please don’t misunderstand me. The Christian life is impossible without the abiding presence of the Spirit. Redemption becomes a reality in the sinner only by the Spirit’s work. He illuminates the mind to understand and apply the Word of God. He distributes spiritual gifts to the Church as He wills. He is the Third Person of the Godhead and worthy of all honor, praise, worship, and adoration.
However, Jesus said of Him, When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you all things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you (John 16:13-14).
The Holy Spirit is the “Quiet Guy” of the Trinity. Yes, upon His arrival in the Church He came with the sound of a mighty, rushing wind (Acts 2:2), but all the noise that day declared the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:11) in the Person of Jesus. The Spirit of God never takes the attention due the Son. Never.
Jesus is the One before every knee shall bow and every tongue confess (Philippians 2:11). If the spirit points to anything or anyone other than Jesus – including itself – it’s not the “Holy” Spirit doing the pointing.