Entertaining the Holy Spirit

The Beloved Holy Spirit has been given to believers by the Father and the Son to guide us, to comfort us, to teach us, to conform us to Christ. What greater, more glorious gift could God have given to His people?! Though we are evil, we know how to give good gifts to our children. How much more is the loving, Heavenly Father willing to give His Spirit to those who ask Him in humility in Christ (Luke 11:13).

Puritan Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) wrote on the importance of believers entertaining this sweet and glorious Guest, or “Blessed Lodger”, who has come to live within God’s people. There should be no friend nearer or dearer than the Spirit of Christ who lives within us. Sibbes wrote, “There is nothing in the world so great and sweet a friend that will do us so much good as the Spirit, if we give Him entertainment.” What does giving Him entertainment mean? For Sibbes, entertaining meant to welcome with hospitality and nurture a friendship or relationship with the indwelling Spirit. We can have no fellowship with the Father, except through Christ our Mediator; we can have no fellowship with Christ, except by His Spirit.

Think about this: What does it mean when you have a beloved friend, family member, or important person in your home? You prepare for them, you give your best for them, you give your best to them, and you desire to make them feel “at home”. In fact, you go to quite the trouble and “fuss” oftentimes to make some feel at home, and to desire them to come back. Entertaining the Spirit, according to Sibbes, is similar. It is nothing less than giving your all, your best, making a divine “fuss” to make Him feel at home within you. Do you treat the Beloved Guest who lives ‘in’ you because of the love of God in Christ in a special, hospitable way?! Do you converse with Him, seek His advice and wisdom, give thanks together with Him, and talk together about the Lord Jesus Christ?

Here are some reasons to cause you to think about this important guest, and seek to entertain Him. He is the cause of all holiness in you. Anything good in you, any good ideas, any good character, any good thoughts, or desires to do good are all because of His work in you. By nature, there is nothing good in you, nothing good that comes from us. But this sweet and beloved Friend has produced good in you. Entertain Him with thanksgiving. By nature the desire for holiness has been extinguished in man. Do you desire to look like Jesus, to be like Jesus– this is the work of the Spirit. Entertain Him with humble service. Do you understand God’s Word, particularly are you a recipient of the Gospel in power and truth? This is the work of the Spirit. Entertain Him by seeking His power to live for Jesus with all of your heart according to the Word of God. Is your heart tender, and do you mourn over sin, and seek to show compassion to others? This is the work of the Spirit! Entertain Him by seeking more of Him; seek Him to be more joyful, more full of Christ and His Word! (Eph. 5:18ff; cf. Col. 3:17ff).

Entertaining the Spirit is also importantly being careful not to grieve Him (Eph. 4:30). Believers can grieve the Spirit when they resist his teaching, direction, strengthening, and/or comfort from Him. Let us submit our hearts, thoughts, and behavior to Christ. Whatever we are commanded to do in God’s Word, particularly as we hear from Christ in preaching, let us hear and obey the Spirit, not grieving Him who has sealed us. Let us do all that He teaches us to do cheerfully and obediently as He gives us the grace and power. His goal is to lead us to Christ, and to teach us Christ’s Word, and comform us to the likeness of Christ. Let us keep in step
and “walk with Him” (Gal. 5:16, 25). Hear Sibbes’ plea for Christians today

“Oh give him entrance and way to come into his own chamber, as it were to provide a room for himself!”

In Christ’s love,
Pastor Biggs