We can often possess something valuable without fully appreciating its worth or significance. The story is told of a farmer wo worked his small farm his entire life, tilling the rocky soil year after year. At his death, the farm was passed down to his son who continued plowing the ground — but the son found a gold-streaked nugget in the soil. The land was full of gold and he instantly became a wealthy man. Yet that wealth was lost on his father, even though it was on the land his whole life.
So it is with the Holy Spirit. Many of us live in ignorance of what we have, of the power that resides in us. Some Christians live their entire lives thinking they have the Holy Spirit, yet they have not truly received him in fullness and power. He is not accomplishing in them the eternal work he was sent to do.
Some believers seek the Holy Spirit only when they are in trouble and want him to manifest his power. They hope he will come down and sweep away their problems. But Peter says that is not the truth about the Spirit. According to him, we have the treasure within us: “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
At the Jordan River, John the Baptist told the Pharisees, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know” (John 1:26). Those religious leaders saw Jesus in the flesh, and they heard him speak, but they had no understanding of who he was. They did not know about his power and glory. Likewise, Jesus asked his own disciple, Philip, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?” (John 14:9).
How long have you testified that you have been filled with the Holy Spirit? Has he been with you many years and yet you really don’t know him? He is the One who brings us through hard times with a testimony of joyful endurance. Our greatest witness to the world is being a Christian who has cast his every burden on the Holy Spirit.