If we think of the term mood in a common human sense, we may miss something important about the Holy Spirit: He has moods too!
We speak of people as having "good" moods and "bad" moods. We characterize some by saying they are "moody"—which usually means they are immature and temperamental. However, this negative connotation of moodiness is not inherent in the word's definition.
A mood can be defined simply as "a conscious state of mind or predominant emotion."We can expect the Holy Spirit, as a divine Person, to function in a conscious state of mind and to express emotion in righteousness. It is only our unredeemed human psyches that create "bad" moods that are sinful.
The moods of the Holy Spirit are the frames of mind He uses to express Himself, revealing His divine purpose for particular situations. Often, these moods are expressed through human vessels. We are temples of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 3:16), and the Holy Spirit does much of His work through us. As we learn to recognize the different moods of the Holy Spirit, we can better understand what He is doing and why—and we can more fully cooperate with Him in fulfilling His purposes for our lives.
A study of God's Word reveals seven distinct moods of the Holy Spirit:
1. The convicting mood
Conviction may be defined as "an act of pleading, beseeching or reproving." The Holy Spirit comes to us in this frame of mind to make us God-conscious and aware of our sinful nature and sinful acts. Jesus was describing the convicting mood of the Holy Spirit when He said, "When He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8, NKJV).
Conviction from the Holy Spirit must not be confused with condemnation. Conviction is constructive and full of hope. When the Holy Spirit convicts us and we acknowledge our sin, we find relief in repenting of it and experience joy in accepting forgiveness.
Condemnation from the enemy, however, is an accusing voice that speaks of failure and defeat. These tormenting thoughts tell us such things as, "You are no good, and you will never be any different. You're so bad, God is mad at you. He cannot or will not forgive you."
The Holy Spirit's convicting work will result in our coming closer to Christ, not in our wallowing in despair. And while the revelation of our sin may bring pain, the deliverance from its power results in the kingdom of God coming to us in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (see Rom. 14:17). We are made whole as we learn to yield to the convicting mood of the Holy Spirit.
2. The counseling mood
The counseling mood of the Holy Spirit reveals the divine Teacher. Every new revelation and realm of light we discover in God results from the work of the Holy Spirit, who comes to teach us and guide us into all truth (see John 14:26; 16:13).
The best teachers are the ones who get involved with their students in the subjects they are teaching. They don't talk down to students, but take a posture alongside them.
Jesus was that kind of teacher—and so is the Holy Spirit, who reveals Jesus to us so that we can walk in a personal relationship with God and then share that relationship with others. The Holy Spirit is the ultimate Teacher who gets involved with us and helps us learn by walking beside us in our life situations.
Because of the fall of man, sin has blinded us to eternal truths. We cannot receive truth from God unless the Holy Spirit reveals it to us. But as we cooperate with Him in His counseling (teaching) mood and allow our carnal minds to be transformed, we begin to think the thoughts God intended us to think. Thus our divine Counselor teaches us to live a life of righteousness and true holiness in Christ.
3. The compassion mood
Natural man cannot feel godly compassion. He may feel pity or sympathetic concern, but human emotions without God do not express true compassion.
True compassion is revealed only in the nature of God. It is a mixed passion, one compounded of love and sorrow. It involves suffering with another, commiserating with his distress and desiring to show mercy to him. It can only be revealed in human hearts through a work of the Holy Spirit, when He gives us that godly ability to weep with those who weep (see Rom. 12:15).
Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem because the Jews missed the day of their visitation (see Luke 19:41-44). He was not offended that the Jews did not receive Him, but grieved. He had compassion on them because of the ignorance and hardness of heart that kept them in darkness.
He felt deeply their distress and desired to alleviate it. When the Holy Spirit within us causes us to feel His compassion for a person, we weep with that same kind of brokenness and love.
The more we walk in the Spirit, the more tenderhearted we will be. We will feel the same burdens operating in and through us that Christ feels when He looks on a sinful world. We will suffer the pain of love that is true compassion for lost people bound by sin. When we do, we experience the Holy Spirit's mood of compassion flowing through us to help others who are in distress.
4. The cleansing mood
When Jesus cleansed the temple in Jerusalem, He made a whip of small cords and drove out the money changers (see John 2:13-17). His zeal was motivated by divine indignation at the defilement of the temple that God had intended to be a house of prayer, of power, of purpose and of purity.
When the Holy Spirit comes to cleanse our "temples," His zeal against sin still causes Him deep distress. He comes to our hearts to cleanse us of all unholiness so He may dwell in peace within us. He patiently shines His light on one area of unrighteousness after another until He has fulfilled His divine purpose of cleansing our temples and making us holy.
In this cleansing mood, the Holy Spirit may seem angry and harsh to us. We may feel the scourge of cords driving out the wicked thing that is defiling our lives. Yet, if we understand correctly, we will be grateful that divine love is walking through our temples.
His anger is not against us, but against the sin that threatens to destroy us. As we agree with Him and "confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). We need to yield to the cleansing mood of the Holy Spirit so we can be changed into the image of Christ.
5. The commanding mood
When a storm threatened the disciples' lives, Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves and demanded that they be calm. In this instance, He revealed the commanding mood of the Holy Spirit. He stood in that small boat and cried, "Peace, be still" (Mark 4:39). Using the vernacular of today, He might have said, "Lie down, devil, and shut up!"
We seem to enjoy the commanding mood of the Holy Spirit more than the others. We love to say to the enemy, "We command you to...." There are occasions when that is the proper response to the moving of the Holy Spirit. However, we must remember that, as with all the moods of the Holy Spirit, His commanding mood is motivated by love.
Because of man's inherent desire to rule, we need to be careful not to confuse natural "boldness" with the commanding mood of the Holy Spirit. Bossiness is not motivated by love. Anyone who does not display a broken spirit and who is not teachable may simply be displaying a carnal desire to rule when commanding a situation. We can be thankful for the true commanding mood of the Holy Spirit that has authority and power to change any situation for God's glory.
6. The conquering mood
In the conquering mood, the Holy Spirit is joyful, triumphant and victorious. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). The Greek word used here for destroy is lou. Basically, it means that Jesus came to outdo, undo and overdo everything the devil ever did! For this we can shout, "Hallelujah!"
In Old Testament times, when the conquering army returned home with the spoils of battle, there was great rejoicing throughout the kingdom. After the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and cleanses our temples through repentance, we sense this triumph and joy of God's presence in our lives. We cannot help but rejoice, praise and shout about the goodness of God. He has conquered the sin that was trying to destroy us, and we are now free to enjoy His blessings! It is His conquering mood that we experience in these times of praise.
7. The communion mood
God's ultimate desire for mankind is to commune with Him so He can reveal His great love for him and communicate His will to him. He is able to do that through the communion mood of the Holy Spirit.
In the broader meaning of the word, "communion" encompasses many different aspects of prayer, which the Holy Spirit uses to teach us to communicate with God. In its deepest meaning, however, communion is the most intimate of all realms of prayer. It is that relationship ordained of God to completely satisfy our hearts as well as His own.
True communion with God is the result of a deeply personal love relationship with Him. Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me" (Rev. 3:20). As we learn to give our love to Him in worship, we begin to know His loving response to us in the intimacy of communion.
Never again can He be just a creed or an influence in our thinking. When the Holy Spirit's mood of communion operates within us, He becomes a Person to be loved and obeyed, a Person who is more real than any other on earth.
Ultimately, learning to commune with the Holy Spirit will make us more sensitive to all His moods. And as we learn to know Him as a Person and to cooperate with His purposes as expresses them, He will anoint our eyes to see and our ears to hear the will of God for every moment of our lives.
The late Fuchsia Pickett was a well-known conference speaker and teacher. She wrote seven books, including Stones of Remembrance and Presenting the Holy Spirit (Creation House).