Written by: Rachel Shaw
Matthew 3:16-17 “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him”
The Holy Spirit is often illustrated to us as a dove. Within various churches that I have visited, there have been several paintings of Jesus with a dove on his shoulder. I think it’s safe to say that the dove represents the Holy Spirit.
In Matthew 3 at Jesus’ baptism, Scripture says that the Spirit of God descended like a dove. The Holy Spirit has the same characteristics as God. Just as we respect God and all of His authority, we must also do the same for the Spirit because the Spirit is also God. One morning at our church, the pastor told a story about a couple that had just moved into a new cottage. As they settled in, they liked keeping the windows open for the fresh air. Shortly after they moved in they noticed that there was a dove that would sit just outside the window every day. Over time, they made friends with the dove that sits among the tree branches outside their new home. They noticed that every time tension rose in the home from an argument or if they were being loud or disturbing, the dove would fly away. When the peaceful moments returned to the home, the dove flies back to the tree branch next to the couple. As they observed this pattern, they realized that the dove would not adjust to their lifestyle and if they wanted the dove to stay, that they would have to adjust to his.
We can apply the same concept to our lives with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not reside inside of us if we live destructive, selfish lives. The Holy Spirit will simply not adjust and get comfortable with our sin. Rather, in order for us to live our lives with the Spirit residing in us, we must be willing to follow God’s will, and to change our lifestyle accordingly. We ought to love the Lord our God, and love other people as He instructed in scripture. It is such a blessing that God has given us instructions throughout scripture on how to live this earthly life to the fullest. It’s an even greater blessing that he has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us through each moment.
Thank you Lord for giving us the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit. I pray that it resignates inside of each of us that we must change our lifestyle to live in harmony with your Spirit. We commit to a life of following in your footsteps, and to living our lives close to your Spirit. I pray that we draw near to you and you draw near to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Until Next Time,