Presence Devotion #19

The presence of the Holy Spirit

David Breen – General Manager of Training, Discovery Community Care


Mark 4: 1, 14

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil…. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit…


The English language is full of idioms; get off your hobby horse, I have a bone to pick with you, that bloke gets up my nose and he’s full of himself! This last one is not something you want others to be saying about you – it implies being arrogant and proud.

What we see in our reading is that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit – not full of himself.

Similarly, the Holy Spirit’s activity in Jesus was not idiomatic but actual and real. Note the three words associated with the activity of the Holy Spirit; full of…, led by…, and power of…. Why would Jesus, God in the flesh, need to be filled with the power of the Spirit (Mark 3: 22) – didn’t he already have the Spirit if he was God? No, he was both fully human and fully God – he needed to be filled, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit for his life on earth and for ministry. He was born miraculously – not by the will of a man – he lived and learnt the disciplines of the Jewish traditions of education and religion, and he experienced human emotions and feelings like us. What he needed as a man was the power and presence of God, the Holy Spirit, to do the good works God had created for him.

Jesus was a super charged human being; a man with feelings and emotions, but who lived daily under the direction of the Holy Spirit. This is possible for us too. We can be filled, led and empowered by the same Spirit. We need the discipline of reading the Bible, prayer and fellowship with other Christians on a regular basis, but for intimate knowledge of God and to do the good works he has created us to do; we need the Holy Spirit’s presence, power and leadership.

Imagine a cyclist who trains hard every day to compete in the Commonwealth games; say Anna Meares (she won Gold for Australia). Leading up to competition day she doesn’t eat any food, instead she memorises some strategies to beat her opponents, and quotes a theme song from a favourite movie and pumps herself up with great positive words of affirmation. How do you think she would do on race day? She probably would not win gold. The energy she needed would not be there!

It’s similar for us; we need the power and presence of the Holy Spirit every day to give us the divine energy for our race – the race of life. The Holy Spirit can fill us and empower us so we have His very real and wonderful presence enabling us to do His will. If Jesus needed to be filled, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit so do we. It is so much better to be filled with Him than running on empty, or to use an idiom …  full of yourself!

Reflective Questions

  1. Have you experienced the in-filling of the power of the Holy Spirit?
  2. What do you believe about the Holy Spirit that may stop you from being filled by Him today?
  3. How would life be different if you were filled with the Holy Spirit like Jesus was?

Additional Reading

•    Acts 10: 1- 48

•    Ephesians 5: 1-20


Thank you Lord God that Jesus was filled, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit and that I can be too. I want to know your presence and power in my life – help me to hunger and thirst for you until I am filled to over flowing with your presence. Grant me the faith to reach out and receive all that you have for me so I can know your presence in my life and do the works you have given me to do. Amen