So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy....
To participate is to be involved with or take part in, or to possess a particular quality. So participation in the Spirit is a big deal.
I both engage with and have the Spirit of God. He lives inside me. The Father has lavishly poured the Spirit of Jesus into my life.
...and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Cor 13:14).
This is an active thing on both my part and the Spirit's. We engage and enjoy fellowship with one another.
I have a relationship with God!
I have what the Old Testament saints could not have: participation in the Spirit. He came on some of them on odd occasions, but He didn't live with them like He does in me. They had the tabernacle and then the temple where they could experience God's presence. But - thanks to Jesus' mighty work on the cross - God now tabernacles or lives in me. I am a temple of His Holy Spirit. Wow.
I love the Holy Spirit. He opens my eyes to what God is doing (in me and in others) and He opens my spiritual ears to 'hear' what He is saying. He makes me see the unseen so it becomes real to me.
For years I read in Romans 8 that I am a child of God. And for years they were just words on a page. My mind acknowledged they were true but it made no real difference to my life. But then, at a low point one summer I noticed that it is God's Spirit who tells my spirit that I am a child of God. In desperation I cried out to Him to tell this truth to my spirit. He did. He made this unseen truth a glorious reality in my heart and I now know with certainty that I am indeed a child of the Most High. Wow, wow, wow!
I have participation with the Spirit. This truth makes my heart skip a beat and my body tingle all over. What an honour. How beautiful and generous is the Father to pour out the Spirit of Jesus into my life. Whoop! (Or should I say, hallelujah!)
Mandy Baker Johnson is a private medical secretary and freelance writer. She enjoys blogging and recently co-authored her first book, Drawn from Words. She volunteers with a Christian charity working with women in the sex industry, and is currently researching this area for her second book.