A Lesson for December 22nd

Dove of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit confirms visions

Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? …

What is the difference between a spiritual vision and a delusion? People with divinely inspired visions and people with delusions can both draw followers, but one’s community of faith confirms a spiritual vision.

Two-thousand years ago a young girl received perplexing news from the angel Gabriel, that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit, and bear a son who would be called the Son of God. Mary hurried to her older cousin’s home and received the greeting above. While Elizabeth expresses surprise and awe, I imagine Mary was no less stunned on hearing Gabriel’s message confirmed.

Many  people have told me of experiencing God. I often hear how the Spirit provided a sense of calm and clarity, when panic or distress would seem appropriate. Occasionally people report a divine presence holding their hand through a crisis. Other inferences have been disquieting.

One could easily dismiss such experiences as subliminal suggestions. But spiritual people keep themselves open to God working in us and through us and test inferences with other believers and with Scripture.

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