Spiritual Survival Handbook

3. God's DNA the Holy Spirit

"To all who believed Him (Jesus) and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan -- this rebirth comes from God." John 1:12-13 

There was a woman dying of Cancer. A pastor came and tried to comfort her, but she was unable to receive it. “I am lost,” she cried. “I’ve destroyed my life and all those around me. Now I’m going to hell. I’m hopeless.” The pastor saw a framed picture of a young lady on the dresser next to her bed. “Who is this?” he asked. The woman smiled as she softly said, “She’s my only child, the only good thing in my life.”

“Would you help her if she made a mistake? Would you forgive her? Would you still love her?”  “Of course I would!” cried the woman. “I would do anything for her! Why do you ask me such questions?”  “Because I wanted you to know,” said the pastor; “God has a framed picture of you on His dresser.”

Like this woman, every child of God is loved and they possess God's eternal DNA. This is an unbreakable spiritual genetic link.

1. What is God's DNA?
DNA, in layman’s terms, is the “blueprint” of inherited genetic molecular material for our unique identities. Our DNA comes from the combination of genes contributed by each of our biological parents. When there is a question regarding a child’s parentage a paternity test, using blood samples from one or both parents, is taken. The results of this test undeniably reveals a child’s biological parents through their similar DNA structure.

"Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven." (John 3:16) When we received the gift of eternal life through our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God breathed new life into us bringing a spiritual birth. At that moment we received heavenly DNA into our souls in the form of the Holy Spirit. Now, we possess two sets of DNA. One physical set from our earthly parents and one spiritual from our heavenly parent.

With God’s DNA inside of us, the divine life of God grows. Now, we are radically different than the rest of the world. We are part of a distinct race. We resemble our heavenly Father as evidenced by our new Christ like attitudes, motivations, perspectives, desires, goals, and new godly value system. We have a deep desire to be a blessing to others as God has been a blessing to us.

After our spiritual births we are connected eternally to God in such a way that no matter what happens in our futures, our heavenly genetic link to him will not be broken. How can this be? Think about this:

Is it scientifically possible to remove the DNA connection we have with our earthly parents? No, because new scientific breakthroughs in molecular research have proven DNA can't be completely removed or dramatically altered due to its complex structure.

Is it spiritually possible to remove God's DNA from our souls once we are born again? No. We are linked eternally to him in such a way that no matter what happens in our futures, our heavenly genetic link to God can't be broken.

In other words we won't lose or cut our eternal link with God, but we can break our relationship with him. How? By turning our back on him in rebellion. Similar to what a son or daughter does when they choose to disown their birth family. They may never see their family again, but whatever they do or wherever they go it will never change the fact they have a DNA connection to their biological parents. They are still family members, if only through their shared DNA. So if we ever think we've done something to lose eternal life and our spiritual position as a member of God's family, we need to ask ourselves this question: How can I undo my spiritual DNA or my spiritual birth or my salvation? The answer is: We can't.

"
My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from me." (John 10: 27-29)


2. Who is the Holy Spirit?
He is the promised gift Jesus said he would send after he ascended into heaven. In John 16:7 Jesus told His disciples, "It is actually best for you that I go away, because if I don't, the Counselor won't come. If I do go away, he will come because I will send him to you." The Holy Spirit is the source of a Christian’s purification, sustenance, revival, renewal, and the satisfier of spiritual appetite. He points to Jesus as the Savior and Redeemer. The Holy Spirit enables our hearts to embrace God as Abba and he empowers us to spiritually survive.
 

In John 16:12, Jesus implies that the disciples had been taught so much by Jesus during the 3 1/2 years they were together that they had reached a point of saturation. "There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can't bear it now." It was simply impossible for them to take in any more truth at the time. This presented a dilemma. How would Jesus continue to instruct them after he was resurrected and transcended into heaven? Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to continue what he had begun. In other words, the Holy Spirit communicates whatever Jesus tells him to.

The Holy Spirit is also:
• Co-creator of earth.
• The gift given to every child of God to equip and enable them to walk by faith. Walking by faith is a moment to moment dependence on the Holy Spirit as we trust God regardless of the outcome of any given situation. Galatians 4:6-7, "Because you Gentiles have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you." 
• Counselor and Teacher: As our counselor, he listens to us, gives us advice, empowers us to make important life choices, but he won’t force us to make a decision or to make any changes. As our teacher, he instructs us in our spiritual growth.

3. What is a good way to better understand the invisible Spirit of God?
The following scriptures will help you:
Counselor: "When the Father sends the Counselor as my representative--and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit--he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you." (John 14:26) 
Power of the Most High: "The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35)
Spirit of Truth: “I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me." (John 15:26)
Spirit of Glory: "Be happy if you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God will come upon you." (1 Peter 4:14)
Spirit of Wisdom & Revelation: "I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called." “You belong to God, my dear children…The Spirit who lives in you is ‘greater’ than the spirit who lives in the world.” (1 Peter 1:17)  The original Greek word for ‘greater’ in this verse is Megas meaning a person of high rank possessing well-known virtues of authority, power, excellence, and abilities in overtaking the region of a created being. In other words, there is no contest when an evil spirit attempts to overthrow the Holy Spirit’s dominion in our hearts. The Holy Spirit wins every time!
Spirit of Prophecy: "Worship God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus." ( Revelation 19:10) 

4. What are the benefits to a relationship with the Holy Spirit? ~ Awareness and elimination of sins. ~ Increases the ability to process and assimilate God’s Word. ~ Improves the health of body, mind, and soul ~ Rejuvenation and motivation for service to the Lord. ~ Spiritual health producing an insurance against complacency. ~ Increased ability to trust and depend on God. ~ Rejecting temptations and maintaining a life pleasing to God. ~ Rest, renewal, and reduction of anxiety. ~ Life-giving and life-sustaining.

5. Is there a physical description of the Holy Spirit?

No, but there are references to the Holy Spirit using objects we are familiar with as symbols to help describe him.
Wind: Representing dynamic power. Acts 2:2, "Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them, and it filled the house where they were meeting."; Reviving (Exekiel 37:9-10); Independent (John 3:8)
Fire: Empowers and transforms believers to do heavenly acts on earth. Acts 2:3, "What looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them." Purifying (Isaiah 4:4; Malachi 3:2-3); Searching (1 Corinthians 2:10) Tongues of fire (Acts 2:3-4, 6-11)
Oil: Fuel to live a life pleasing to God and physical healing. James 5:14, "Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord." Consecrating (Isaiah 61:1); Comforting (Hebrews 1:9); Illuminating (Matthew 25:3-4; 1 John 2:20, 27)
Oil is used to anoint a person or thing for service and purposes. A good image in nature of the oil of the Holy Spirit filling and empowering us is found in the Australian Eucalyptus Tree. This tree has an extremely high content of fragrant oil that flows through every aspect of it. Due to this oil, a Eucalyptus tree literally explodes like a bomb when it is on fire. This not only releases the tree’s fragrant oil, it starts fires in the surrounding area. When we are filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit we explode with God's power making a sweet fragrance to the Lord as we start holy spiritual fires in those around us.
Voice: Guidance. John 16:13-14, "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me." Warning. Hebrews 3:12-13, "Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, as long as it is called "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God."
Dove: Representing peace and reconciliation. Matthew 3:16, "After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him."
Seal: Authenticity. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, "It is God who gives us, along with you, the ability to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment of everything he will give us." Securing. Ephesians 1:13-14, "You also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God."

6. What is the Holy Spirit’s role in a Christian's life?
He gives access to Father God: Ephesians 2:18, "All of us, both Jews and Gentiles, may come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us." There may be people in our lives who love us and attempt to give us what they think we need, but only the Holy Spirit gives us the one thing we can't live without - a relationship with God.

He convinces us of our sins:
John 16:8-11, "When he comes, he will convince the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world's sin is unbelief in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the prince of this world has already been judged." As God's children, the Holy Spirit holds us accountable for our actions as God wants only the best for us. If he ignored our sins, we would never learn healthy spiritual boundaries and we would lack self-discipline.

He comforts:
John 14:16-17, "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you." In our most vulnerable, painful times, the Holy Spirit knows our need to be comforted. He lovingly embraces us with a hug we can trust and gently wipes our tears.

He guides:
 "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future." (John 16:13)  When discerning if the guidance we have is from the Holy Spirit or the devil, we need to remember this: Satan forcefully drives us, but the Holy Spirit gently guides us. The Holy Spirit has no other motivation or hidden agenda, but that he loves us. He only tells us the truth. He won't deceive or manipulate us. We are completely safe under his guidance.

He gives strength:
Ephesians 3:16, "...from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit." Living with the traumas in life and even abuse weakens us by depleting our strength. The Holy Spirit gives us a mighty inner supernatural strength to live each day with the hope of restoration, a strength to stand firm by faith, and the ability to re-claim our God given purpose.

He gives spiritual gifts:
1 Corinthians 12:4-11, "There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another he gives the gift of special knowledge. The Spirit gives special faith to another, and to someone else he gives the power to heal the sick. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and to another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to know whether it is really the Spirit of God or another spirit that is speaking. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, and another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have." God doesn't want us to simply survive life, but thrive through our knowing and then using the spiritual gifts he's given to us. Even though the Holy Spirit determines which spiritual gifts we receive, we can ask God for the gifts we would like to have. Usually the gifts we desire and receive are the ones we need in order to fulfill God’s purpose and destiny
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Spiritual gifts can also be received through the prayers of others on our behalf. The Apostle Paul writes about being God’s vessel through which the Holy Spirit poured his spiritual gifts to Timothy as recorded in 2 Timothy 1:6, "…fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you."

7. What am I to do with my spiritual gifts?
It’s your responsibility to develop and use them to benefit others. Ask God to give you opportunities to use your spiritual gifts. Then be expectant by looking for the windows of opportunities he brings your way. This is similar to a professional singer. She has the gift of a beautiful voice, but if she doesn’t practice daily and sing for the public no one benefits from her gift. The gift lies dormant within her. Unused. Going to waste. So it is with us and the gifts God has given.

Every spiritual gift increases in power as we mature spiritually and consistently walk in obedience. Spiritual gifts also enhance and stimulate our natural gifts. When we submit control of our gifts to the Holy Spirit, the proper functioning of our spiritual gifts is regulated by the amount of the spiritual oxygen within us.

8. What is spiritual oxygen?
It’s common knowledge that our bodies need oxygen to stay alive. We can go without food for weeks and without water for days, but without oxygen, we die within minutes. Just as a rich supply of oxygen is vital to our physical health, a rich supply of the Holy Spirit is essential to a healthy spiritual life. Why? Because God didn’t create our souls for low level Holy Spirit consumption. He created us to be filled with the Holy Spirit's presence, so the unwanted trash in our souls burns up as we are empowered to advance God's Kingdom on earth. 

9. Is it possible to break the Holy Spirit's heart?
Yes. Ephesians 4:30, "Do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live." The following when operating in our lives breaks the Holy Spirit's heart: 1. Bitterness is entrenched in unforgiveness. 2. Wrath is revenge for wrongs or alleged wrongs. 3. Anger is feeling rights were violated. 4. Clamor is a disturbance caused through the irritation of a soul. 5. Slander is partnering with the devil to do wickedness to God's people. 6. Malice is an evil root the devil maintains in a soul.

10. What does it mean when the Holy Spirit is grieved?
It's similar to what a parent feels as he or she watches their adult child make choices they know will cause them pain. It breaks the parent's heart, but a loving parent does not withdraw their love from the child nor abandon them. Like a loving parent, the Holy Spirit never leaves us, never abandons us, or withdraw his love from us even when we've grieved him.

There are also times when the pain of our past may overshadow us. During these times, the Holy Spirit grieves 'with us'. He comforts, listens, and understands. Through it all he keeps a tight grip on our hand. Even when we wiggle and squirm attempting to set ourselves free from his grip, he only holds on tighter. His love for us doesn’t want us out from under the protection of his loving care.

11. At times I hide from God. Why would I do this?
After our spiritual births we are set free from the bondage of sin, but we continue to have the free will to sin. When we sin, we may attempt to hide from God due to guilt and shame. Instead of hiding, another option is sincere confession of our sins. Our repentance restores our relationship with the Holy Spirit, but repentance is more than asking for forgiveness. It involves a turning from the sinful behavior and embracing a new attitude regarding it. This 180° turn results in our freedom from hiding our guilt or shame from God. We now can be transparent with our heavenly Father.

If we don’t stay in a close relationship with the Holy Spirit, we experience harmful attitudes, spiritual sluggishness, negative thoughts, reduced spiritual vision, resistance to sin is lessened, and damaging habits creep in causing a slow spiritual decline.

These bad habits can become a major part of our lives. The good news is that these patterns are reversible. The bad news is that before we can change these habits, we need to recognize and accept that our behavior needs to be changed.

One practical way to help break a habit is making notes to ourselves and displaying them in prominent places throughout our homes. Also asking others we trust for help, encouragement, and support is beneficial. We must remember through this process to give ourselves a pat on the back for each day we are successful in not doing the unwanted behavior as we thank the Lord for the strength he gave us to be victorious. If we fall, quickly asking God to forgive us and forgiving ourselves helps us start fresh. For defeat is not the last word in breaking a habit - victory is!

Whether we will be a hide and seek person or an ambassador of God’s glory within our circle of influence is completely up to us. But the reality is we can’t successfully do this with our own limited resources. For the Holy Spirit is the One who powerfully equips us to be productive within the kingdom of God. Our responsibility is to focus on living in harmony with him. For he isn't only our spiritual DNA link to Father God, the Holy Spirit is also our constant, faithful, and loving partner in our spiritual survival.

12. What is the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
It is a supernatural divine experience that can take place at the time of our acceptance of the Lord as Savior or it can be a seperate spiritual experience that empowers us for God's service.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit’s true meaning is to be set free into the joy of God This baptism is the depositing and releasing of supernatural power for godly service and for the ministry of Jesus to flow through a Christian. This baptism is a one time entrance into a lifelong experience. It is a separate experience from spiritual birth and water baptism. It is not an external water immersion baptism, but a baptism, which flows from the inside of a believer. John 7:38-39 (NIV) states this experience, “Rivers of living water will flow out from within. (When He said "living water," He was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in Him.)”

The Holy Spirit made His promised and awaited grand entrance on the day of Pentecost: “When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning, there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force - no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.”

13. How do I receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
By asking God for it or through other Christians praying with you. Acts 8:13-18, "When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit."

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is an act of obedience to the Word of God. In order to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit you must:
~ Be born again.
~ Surrender to God.
~ Be willing to be prepared to obey the Spirit.

Ask for this baptism. God doesn't give anything that’s bad. Luke 11:13, "If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him." If you want to receive this baptism, pray this prayer: "Lord, I ask you to baptize me in the Holy Spirit to overflowing. I ask for the gift of tongues, which will be my personal devotional prayer language. By faith, I receive this baptism. May your power fill me to overflowing. Thank you Lord, for baptizing me in your Holy Spirit. Amen."

Exercise what God has just given. Acts 2:4, "Everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability" The Holy Spirit gave the words, but the apostles and disciples voluntarily responded. Now, yield your voice to God for the expression of your new prayer language to be expressed. Begin praising God out loud. Tell God how much you love him. Thank him and let the Holy Spirit give you new words of praise that you never heard before. Trust these words to be from God even though you don’t understand them with your intellect. This is a devotional prayer language God has given you to increase your faith and spiritually empower you in prayer. This prayer language is the Holy Spirit praying the perfect will of God through you. "We don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us." Romans 8:26

The Holy Spirit moves into our hearts at our spiritual birth. At the baptism of the Holy Spirit, He brings the divine power we need to live a holy and obedient Christian lifestyle. This power enables us to exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit and be powerful witnesses to a lost world. Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, witnessing to others can be a carnal work. After receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, our witnessing can be full of God’s life and almighty power as we give a free rein to the Lord to flow through us.

As disciples of Christ's, we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit on a continuous basis, not merely by a single experience. In order to receive the initial baptism of the Holy Spirit, we can: Be new and improved through a spiritual birth and our relationship with Jesus. Surrender ourselves to God. Be willing to be prepared to obey the Spirit. Ask for this baptism. As we ask Father God, we can remind ourselves that He will not give us anything that’s bad for us. “If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”

If you haven’t received this baptism and would like to receive it, pray this prayer: “Lord, I ask you to baptize me in the Holy Spirit. I ask for the spiritual gifts you want to give me and for the gift of tongues, which will be my personal devotional prayer language. By faith, I receive this baptism. May your power fill me. Thank you Lord, for baptizing me in your Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Now, it’s up to you to exercise what God has just given to you. “Everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.” Notice in that verse the Holy Spirit gave the words, but the disciples voluntarily began to speak? Just as they did and I did, yield your voice to God for the activation and expression of your new prayer language. Begin praising God in whatever words you think of. Tell the Lord how much you love Him. Thank Him and let the Holy Spirit give you new words of praise that you never heard before. Trust these words to be from God even though you don’t understand them with your intellect.


Spiritual Survival Handbook by Kathleen Brown. Copyright © 1999. All rights reserved.
Holy Bible New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc. All rights reserved.