Our Friendly Ghost

July 29, 2000
by Jim Wagner

Luke 11:13 – If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? (NASB)

As a child growing up, I must have missed a Sunday or two when the topic or sermon was presented on the Holy Ghost, as the Holy Spirit was called back then. Anyway, I went through life with my mind on Jesus and God, a vertical relationship, not a triangular relationship. During that time growing up, I attended movies and saw a lot of movies about evil spirits, ghosts, cemeteries at midnight, vampires, rain and lightning. I really believed in the evil side of things. In fact, there were times I had nightmares dreaming about those evil creatures which had been set in my mind. But in it all there was some degree of solace.

In a recent devotional, the writer mentioned "Casper the Friendly Ghost". I remember reading comic books about Casper and watching an occasional cartoon on television. I really liked Casper and all the adventures he/she/it (I don't know) had fighting evil.

I became enlightened when I was about forty, while attending a workshop conducted on the Holy Spirit by an Episcopal priest, who is now a bishop. I was dumbfounded. I had many questions about the Holy Spirit because, basically, I was so very ignorant.

The priest was excellent in his presentation of all the gifts of the Spirit. He had a way of feeding spiritual pablum to intellectuals and having them like it. I remember asking him where the Holy Spirit existed in the scheme of things. He replied, "Jim, if you were to send a letter to God, what address would you use?"

I said, "Heaven, but I don't know the zip code."

"Very good," was his reply. "How about Jesus?" he asked.

"That would be heaven too, at the right hand of God," said I.

"Jim, your theology is excellent. One more question. How about the Holy Spirit?"

I was stumped. "No idea," was my reply. "That's why I asked the question."

"Jim," he continued, "The Holy Spirit exists here in the world. He is all around you and in you. He is the comforter, the supporter, the one who enables, the one who empowers you."

Wow! What a revelation! For the first time in my life, I gained the knowledge that there really was a Casper — Someone I could count on to fight the mighty battles. I was no longer alone. After that, it was a matter of applying what I learned, and praising Him.

Isn't it a blessing that we are always given the choice to see the good in something? Where I once believed there were only evil spirits or ghosts, I am now able to experience the ultimate power and gifts of the Holy Ghost or Spirit.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, open our hearts and minds to the fullness of your Trinity in all its majestic splendour. Send your people to teach us ways that we can receive and discover those very special gifts you have for each and every one of us. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Jim Wagner
Beaumont, Texas, USA

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