In order to understand how the Holy Spirit moves, you must first learn what He loves and how he operates. The Holy Spirit loves messes.

Bringing order into chaos is His nature.

It doesn’t matter if the chaos is in your nation, your personal life, politics, or your family. God brings order to chaos.

How do I know?

At creation, as the Holy Spirit was lingering over the formless nothingness, God spoke into being the world as we know it.

“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved [“was hovering” ESV] upon the face of the waters.” —Genesis 1:2

The Spirit of God “loved” the chaos to life, transforming it from mess to magnificence.

The Moving, Renewing Spirit of God

Many Bible scholars apply “the law of first mention” to their study and interpretation of the Scripture this principle maintains that the first time a word, a concept, or a doctrine is found in Scripture fixes its characteristics from that point forward.

In the verse above, which is the second verse of the entire Bible, you see that the Holy Spirit moves.

brings light into darknessAnd that is how He operates to this day.

All the time, He keeps moving across the surface of the earth, and He brings light into darkness wherever He goes.

He didn’t stop moving that way after the earth was created, because He is constantly renewing the face of the earth, along with the hearts of the earth’s inhabitants.

How the Holy Spirit Moves

The most basic answer to the question “How does the Holy Spirit move?” is that He hovers.

He stays over something until He chooses to move on, having completed His inspection or implementation.

How should you respond to this information?

Sometimes your life may feel like “formless nothingness,” too, but the Holy Spirit within you is not inert.

You may feel like your faith has been shaken and that there is uncertainty all around you.

You can open your heart to receive the grace of God and to release it to others.

Guillermo Maldonado quote

How You Move with the Holy Spirit

Once you know how the Holy Spirit moves, then you can move with the Holy Spirit.

Practically speaking, how does opening yourself to the Holy Spirit work in real life?

How can you prepare and position your spirit so you can move with the Holy Spirit?

Initially you must learn the value of quieting yourself. You need to slow down and eliminate hurry from your life.

When your spirit and mind are like a stirred-up fishbowl or shaken-up snow globe, you can’t hear what He’s saying.

The psalmist knew this secret: “I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning” (Psalm 130:5–6).

These days, sometimes the process of waiting in the presence of the Lord is called “soaking.”

This is when you get your spirit’s tank refilled with the Holy Spirit, and it is best to establish a pattern of doing it the first thing in the morning so that you can return to that inner place of peace and trust anytime throughout the day, finding your satisfaction in Him.

quiet yourselfThe psalmist compared a quieted soul to a contented young child who has been well cared for, whose hunger has been fully satisfied: “My soul is even as a weaned child” (Psalm 131:2).

Once you have quieted yourself, you can seek out God.

Throughout the day, you can exercise the gift of tongues; you can pray in the Spirit.

This builds your faith very effectively and turns you toward the Father’s heart.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “I speak with tongues more than you all” (1 Corinthians 14:18), and what he meant was that he relied heavily on this gift, to the point that he may have used it more than all of the Corinthians put together.

An important part of opening yourself to the Holy Spirit is making a conscious determination to be a participant in whatever He wants to do, instead of remaining merely a passive observer.

When you go to worship meetings, you should be ready to get involved, eager to give and not only to receive as you move with the Holy Spirit.

At the minimum, you should be an intercessor, praying for those who are leading the meeting, “holding up their arms” as Aaron and Hur held up Moses’s arms in order to bring victory to the Israelites. (See Exodus 17:8–13.)

Stir up your faith and believe that God wants to use “little ole me,” as Randy Clark says, to impart His love to others.

Even if you have a proverbial “bad day,” you can still allow God to use you.

On your worst day, you’ve still got something alive within you that you can give away. It is the hope of glory.

True hope is something the world just does not have.

When you are walking and moving in the strength and counsel that the Spirit supplies, you are operating in God’s grace.

Ask the Holy Spirit for a fresh revelation of His grace.

You already know that you cannot earn the gifts of the Spirit or access the power of God without grace.

When you move with the Holy Spirit in God’s grace, all the credit and all the glory returns to God, where it belongs—and the chaos around you is turned into life!

Moving with the Holy Spirit!

James W. Goll 

This article has been adapted from Day 24: “How the Spirit Moves” in the Tongues of Fire Devotional: 50 Days Celebrating Pentecost by James W. Goll and others.

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