If you believe that Jesus was raised from the dead and your heart is turned to Him in repentance from your sins, then you may know that you have the Holy Spirit abiding with you. This is what He promised.
Be aware that there is nothing physical about a spirit. Therefore, you are not going to be able to discern the presence of the Holy Spirit with your five physical senses. You accept His presence by faith. Jesus promised – you believe.
Further, Jesus promised that His Spirit would be with us forever – not just for a season. Therefore, when you believe in the gift – believe it as permanent. Believe in an ongoing and unending presence of God with you.
Jesus likened the Spirit to the wind. That is, you do not know where the wind comes from or where it is going, but you see the effect it has (such as leaves of a tree moving). Similarly, the Holy Spirit has an effect on you, on your thoughts and intentions.
The Holy Spirit has been likened to a “still, small voice” or like “whispers” in our soul. The Holy Spirit is depicted as a dove coming down from heaven to Jesus. A dove is the picture of gentleness, making soft sounds. The quieter our hearts, the more easily we sense the movements of His Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is known by a number of names: the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, the Holy Ghost (from the 1611 King James Version of the Bible), the Spirit of truth, the Helper, the Comforter, the Paraclete, and sometimes just as “the Spirit.”
The name “Helper” is significant because it implies that we do not have the power to live the life God wants without God Himself helping us. Without the Helper, we would be left merely to our own minds, our own thoughts, our own hopes. This is not enough. Even Jesus Himself, in the days of His flesh, depended for strength on the Helper.
The most important help that the Holy Spirit brings us are the thoughts of God. That is, through the Holy Spirit we become aware of what God is thinking toward us. Think how destitute and desolate our hearts would be if we were left entirely to our own thoughts. God does not leave us in such a desert; He sends the Spirit in our hearts to be an ever-flowing stream of living water. He brings to our remembrance all that Jesus has said to us in the past. The words of God strengthen our souls and enable us to live quietly and confidently for Him.
The most important adjective in His names is, of course, “holy.” The Holy Spirit comes to us to help us live for holy purposes. Not selfish purposes, not fleshly purposes, not material purposes. What is holy? Washing a car is holy…if, for example, it is being performed by a teenager who out of love for God wants to honor his parents. Holy is what is done out of reverent service to God. Even silence can be holy when, for example, it is what you do in response to being unfairly criticized rather than lashing back.
The Holy Spirit can be easily overlooked – the whole world ignores Him. The whole idea seems foolish to them. But to you who love Jesus, He brings the wisdom of God. And you know there is no more practical and useful gift God could have given you for life in this world than His Holy Spirit, resident in your heart.