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Holy Spirit Boot Camp!

Have you heard of The Bible as in B I B L E and the witty slogan Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth? Clever right? But if we came from heaven and are destined to return there, what are we even doing here on the earth? I believe the purpose of life on this planet is to willingly learn to know, to love and to serve God. Earth is what I like to call BOOT CAMP and our drill sergeant is none other than the HOLY SPIRIT.

My understanding of boot camp comes from the fact that two of my sons went through Army BCT also known as Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Their phone calls and letters that I received during that critical time in their lives formed my impression of the purpose of boot camp. The mission is twofold: to BREAK you down and to BUILD you up. The objective is clear and the goal is attainable.

Step One – Breaking down. Fresh recruits come from all over with a range of shapes, sizes, attitudes, ethnic and financial backgrounds. They must be made to let all of that go and get over themselves so that each person can be molded into someone new. Male and female recruits have to follow strict regulations and successfully pass through the testing at each phase. It starts out extremely challenging in order to weed out the faint of heart and becomes a bit easier as training progresses.

Step Two – Building up. The focus of the Army is to build soldiers into an effective team. To trust each other and act as one unit. They face demanding superiors, grunt duties and field exercises together. These shared life experiences are often the foundation for friendships. I feel that most drill sergeants truly care about the soldiers under their command and want to see them do well. But like caring parents they are required to demonstrate discipline. They have to be tough so their trainees learn respect for themselves, others and the chain of command.

The Boot Camp is a testing ground which proves the character of each individual that marches on by. Some don’t make it for a number of reasons and get cut from the team. Most soldiers move on to their advanced individual training or AIT for instruction in their MOS which stands for military occupational specialty. Soldiers either remain at the same base or are sent to different locations, depending on their MOS. They are assigned to different companies and begin a new program of various intensities. Upon graduation from AIT, soldiers are given a permanent duty station for a fixed number of years. They can be stationed stateside or overseas. When the initial contract is up, some choose to make military service a life-long career, others reenlist for a short term or decide civilian life is more attractive so they get out as soon as possible.

How does all this connect to the spiritual realm? People that believe in and follow the Jewish Jesus, come from a variety of backgrounds, like the military recruits. We are many parts but we are all one body, the body of Christ. Existence on this earth means being present in Boot Camp. There’s no doubt about it. We must lay aside our personal desires and take up our crosses to receive the necessary preparation to grow in God’s Word and then go out in the field to do God’s will. This is my occupational specialty - a passion for sharing God’s Word. We do not remain infants forever. There is a natural process of transformation just as from a caterpillar to a butterfly. We are not able to rush through it and we can’t avoid the steps we don’t like. Everything happens at a certain pace and in a certain order.


About face to focus on our drill sergeant, The Holy Spirit. Who is He? What is He like? He is called the third person in the Trinity and also known as The Holy Ghost. What is the Trinity? God in Three Persons: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. The Hebrew Word Elohim, which indicates a plural form, is why the translation of Genesis 1:26 reads “And God said, Let us make man in our image and after our likeness”. It is all about relationship. As Jesus states in Matthew 28:19 when He tells His apostles to go out into the world and baptize in the Name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

Depending on the translation of the Bible you are familiar with either Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is used. Both are appropriate. The meaning is the same as an energy force or life force. Spirit is Latin for breath and it is the root for words like respiration, aspiration and inspiration. The term Ghost in modern times has come to have a negative connotation related to being dead, a phantom, or a disembodied soul that haunts the living.

Halloween time. For this reason, the name Holy Spirit is currently used more often than Holy Ghost.

What can we glean from the Scriptures about this mystical and mysterious personality? The Holy Spirit is revealed throughout the Bible actually. He has His own work to perform and He is very busy in many areas. Genesis 1:2 in the beginning, the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. Genesis 2:7 says God breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils. He therefore actively participated in Creation.

Exodus 31:1-3 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills.” Numbers 27:18 And the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him;”

The Holy Spirit settled on Saul, as the transition from judges to the kings, from 1 Samuel 10:10 and then on David 1 Samuel 16:13 and off of Saul in verse 14. He came upon men and showed them visions of future events which they wrote down in the books of the prophets and motivated praise in the Psalms. This is why Scriptures are called the inspired Word of God. Throughout history, He anointed people with skill to perform certain tasks for God’s glory and to advance His kingdom.

Luke 1:35 reveals Him at the Annunciation from the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. “And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born of you will be called the Son of God.”

Remember when Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan, the Holy Spirit appeared as a dove that descended and alighted on Jesus as recorded in Matthew 3:16 before leading Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. We have even more insight about the Holy Spirit from the descriptions Jesus shared with His disciples. John 14:16 as the Comforter (Helper) that will never leave us and in John 14:17 as the Spirit of truth. “The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

John 14:26 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 15:26 testifies concerning Christ…”the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.”

John 16:7-8 “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”


In Matthew 12:31-32 Jesus warns not to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit as it is the unforgivable sin.

“And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” This is serious business, folks. People need to pay attention!

The Holy Spirit was the catalyst for the Birth of the Church. Acts 2:1-4 “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

In the writings of Paul, we learn that our bodies are His Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19) and that Holy Spirit is the bringer of Gifts and the Provider of Fruits. 1 Corinthians 12:3-11 “…And without the help of the Holy Spirit no one can say, “Jesus is Lord.” There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people. The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.” In Catholic teaching, at the Sacrament of Confirmation these seven gifts are provided: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit if the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

The late Dr. Myles Munroe wrote a book in 2007 that I greatly enjoyed titled The Most Important Person on Earth: The Holy Spirit, Governor of the Kingdom. He details the role The Holy Spirit has as Governor of the Earth and we, the people of God, are His ambassadors. We need to immerse ourselves in the Word, prayer and fellowship to fully embrace the Culture of Heaven to share it accurately, clearly and passionately with the world.

In summary, the BOOT CAMP of life on this earth, is to train with the Holy Spirit and become both Soldiers for Christ and Diplomatic Envoys for our Governor, the Holy Spirit. I hope this message has helped you to learn more about the Holy Spirit and to increase your faith by holy fire!

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Writing is a passion and so is PRAYER.

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