“‘Whoever believes in me … rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit …” (John 7:38-39)
The Holy Spirit has taken on various forms that symbolize important blessings we receive when he lives within us. The Spirit comes as a dove and fills us with peace and holy contentment. We hear the voice of the Father, as when the dove came upon Jesus at his baptism: “You are my [child], whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22).
On Pentecost the Spirit descended with tongues of fire (Acts 2:3), and the fire of the Spirit purifies us by burning away our selfish habits, our coarse language, our stubborn ingratitude, and our lack of grace in relationships.
As the disciples of Jesus spoke in many languages on Pentecost, some of the onlookers thought they were drunk (Acts 2:13). Why? Because the other languages sounded like babbling to them — but not to the people who understood those languages! And people who are filled with the Spirit overflow with joy and cannot stop talking about Jesus, the greatest treasure in the world.
We experience the Spirit also as a comforter who comes to our aid and as a lawyer who defends us in situations of distress (John 14:15-27; 15:26).
The Spirit is also described as a river of living water. Like a spring bubbling up within us, the living water of the Spirit ensures that we will never be thirsty again (John 4:13-14).
Life in the Spirit is truly an abundant existence. And this is normal in the Christian life.
Holy Spirit, be our dove of peace, our baptism of fire, our translator and joy giver, our comforter and defending lawyer, and our water of life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.