As I was reading through the Old Testament the other day, there was a word that I have noticed several times that again grabbed my attention. Often, as I am pouring through scripture and this happens, I want to look a little closer into the scripture because there is an increased probability that God wants to show me something.
The phrase that jumped out at me is “The Spirit Rushed”. It is found in at least 6 times in the books of Judges and Samuel to accomplish, through leaders, what God wants to get done. The Hebrew translation of this word can be better translated as “invade” and it presents some wonderful insight into how God uses His Holy Spirit. I like to imagine that one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to act as a kind of 911 responder who rushes to invade our struggle and aids us in our times of need. I really don’t like to do anything in a rush, although I find myself having to a lot of the time; but there is great comfort in knowing that we can call out to God and He will rush His Holy Spirit to us.
1 The Spirit rushes to provide strength
This is how it worked with Samson. Whether he was being attacked by a roaring lion (Judges 14:6), preparing for battle (Judges 14:19) or being set free (Judges 15:14), the Spirit rushed upon him to provide strength. Kind of like the superhuman strength than parents develop when their children are in crisis. God rushes His Spirit to us to provide us with a strength beyond ourselves.
2 The Spirit rushes to speak the word of God through us.
God had given to Samuel a new heart through which Samuel could serve. Part of the design of this heart was that it was attuned to speak on behalf of God. As Samuel met up with others of a similar heart, he Holy Spirit rushed into their meeting (1 Samuel 10:10) and they began to speak boldly the word and promises of God. His prophesying brought people to God and also established credibility for Samuel. Next time you are lost for words, ask the Holy Spirit to rush upon you.
3 The Spirit rushes to make us angry about unrighteousness.
Saul, in 1 Samuel 11:6, had become fed up with the selfish and violent bickering of the people around him. When he heard that once again they were weeping in self-pity, the Spirit rushed upon him to “kindle his anger”. His anger challenged the people to get over themselves and to serve God. One of the things that God wants to do today is to rush his Spirit into our apathy so that we can stand against selfishness, pride and injustice. I can think of numerous times in my life when this has happened to me. If we want to change the world, I pray it will happen to you as well.
4 The Spirit rushes to anoint us to do what God has called us to do.
As David was beginning his ministry Samuel took some oil (1 Sam 16:13) and anointed David as King of Israel. As the anointing oil trickled down his head the Holy Spirit rushed upon and remained with him from that day forward. It was shortly after this rushed arrival that David took on and defeated the mighty Goliath, the pivotal moment that established David’s leadership. In the same way today, God’s Holy Spirit wants to rush to your side and help you to establish what it is that God has called you to do.
There is a song we often sing at my Church, the lyrics say of God, “He’s never early and he’s never late”. God’s timing is always perfect. I pray that when you are in need of strength to sustain, words to say, passion to address or power to fulfill that God’s Holy Spirit will rush to you and invade your situation.
Holy Spirit, rush upon us again today!