What does the holy spirit do? In How To Be Filled With the Holy Spirit, AW Tozer says “the Holy Spirit came to carry the evidence of Christianity from the books of apologetics into the human heart and that is exactly what He does.” Today, we get a clear picture of how the Holy Spirit works. Acts 8:4-12, 26-40 documents his works through Philip, a committed follower.
Simply put, the Holy Spirit lives inside those of us who are willing to host him. When we do, only one result is possible. Transformation. This transformation exists in the life of the believer. As Galatians 5:22-24 puts it, the believer gets love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. Those, however, are only part of the picture. Philip is proof. The heart conditions created in the believer by the Holy Spirit lead to greater things. To put it another way, being filled in that way results in action.
When believers are filled with the Holy Spirit, they will act. But, appropriate action requires direction. We see this clearly in Philip. When persecution went wild in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit scattered the disciples. This was a safety measure. It’s not the first time God leads his followers away from danger. Remember Joseph and Mary? In Matthew 2:13, an angel of the Lord prompts them to take Jesus to Egypt. There, they will be safe. Philip wisely listens to the Sprit’s prompting and soon finds himself in Samaria. Incredibly, the Holy Spirit didn’t just lead Philp to a safe place. He also sent him to a place where he could live fully.
In Samaria, Philip’s heart overflowed. He could not contain the joy of Christ and did exactly what Christ-followers are called to do. Share the good news. Verse 5 says he “proclaimed to them the Christ.” Guess what? It worked. The crowds “paid attention,” resulting in healing and “much joy.” In other words, an entire community was transformed. This kind of change is not possible by a man. Philip may have done the sharing and the preaching, but the Holy Spirit changed their hearts.
As I reflect on today’s scripture, I am captured by ONE thing that explains who Philip was. You see, this post was supposed to be about who him. Ironically, this post is about Philip and who he was. Its just that who he was is best described by the Holy Spirit. To summarize, Philip gave up everything for God. He became nothing so that the Holy Spirit could become everything.