One evening when our oldest daughter Anna was in college, I, Mahesh, was suddenly overcome by a strong urge to pray. I did not know why, but I knew the Holy Spirit was alerting me and giving me this sense of urgency. I began to pray in the Spirit, and continued to pray for nearly three hours until I felt the inner prompting leave. It was late in the evening when I left my study, and I saw Anna’s light was still on where she was preparing for her final exams. I stuck my head in the door to say good-night and heard myself saying, “Please drive your mother’s Jeep instead of my car in the morning.” She ordinarily drove my car to school every day. I had no particular reason to make the request, but when she nodded without looking up, I told her a second time just to make sure she had heard me. Then I went to bed.
The next morning, our phone rang just before eight o’clock. It was the police department. Our daughter Anna had just been involved in a terrible car crash.
When we arrived at the scene, the EMS and fire department were fervently working to extricate our daughter from the destroyed Jeep. She had hit a slick spot in the road and lost control of the vehicle. It was wrapped around a tree in a shallow ravine. Everyone involved was certain that our daughter was either dead or dying.
Bonnie rushed to the car as they finally got Anna out. The patrolman on the scene said, “It’s a miracle your daughter is alive.” He had never seen an accident like that where the driver had not been instantly killed. “Those airbags are what saved her life.”
We know that it was a lot more than airbags that protected our daughter that day. It was the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives to guide and help us in crucial times that had watched over our daughter. I realized that my urgent need to pray the night before had been for my daughter’s safety. I also realized that my instruction to drive her mother’s Jeep came as a result of my time in prayer. My car was an older model and did not have airbags, but her mother’s car did. I did not know any of the events that were about to happen, but my Friend the Holy Spirit did, and He was watching over my family and me.
Through experiences like that, both Bonnie and I have learned that we are utterly dependent upon the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We have also learned just how much He cares for us, relates to us personally and is always there to give us the assistance we need. And He wants to relate to you, too.
About This Person
When we start thinking about the Holy Spirit, we have to realize He is a Person and not an “it.” That means He has a specific personality. Let us describe Him to you.
The first thing to know about the Holy Spirit is probably this: He is happy. It is His nature to be joyful. It is also His nature to be humble, for He is very gentle. He is also powerful and strong, so when He comes alongside any one of us, He is able to fill up the places where we are empty; to heal the places where we are broken; to strengthen the places where we are weak. That is the very nature of the true God.
He has feelings and longings and desires. He is always at peace and He is everywhere.
King David wrote these words about God in one of his psalms:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
Psalm 139:7–10, nasb
Only God is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (everywhere present). His Presence is His Spirit. This invisible and perceptible Presence permeates the entire universe. There is nowhere that He is not. He is present everywhere at the same time. No distance can separate you from Him; there is nowhere that you can go to be hidden from Him.
God knows everything. There is no place where things happen that He does not know about them. There is nothing you are facing—be it infirmity coming against your body or external circumstances or relational disaster or national crisis—that He has not already gained the victory over through His great power. Those who know Him have consolation in every situation because He does not change.
This is an excerpt from Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda's book Getting to Know the Holy Spirit a Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without written permission from Baker Publishing Group.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!