How to Entertain the Holy Spirit During Church Services
The Holy Spirit lives in each believer. Christians don’t have to continually invite the Holy Spirit to take up residence in their lives; however, there are some things they can do to entertain God’s Spirit.
What Does it Mean to Entertain God’s Spirit?
To entertain the Holy Spirit means to not only welcome Him in but also show hospitality and respect.
The term comes from the work of Puritan theologian Richard Sibbes, who reminded believers about the many things the in-dwelling Holy Spirit offers those He lives in, including counsel, comfort, and guidance. These gifts are available to all, but to make full use of them, believers have to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice and be willing to act on it.
Practical Ways to Entertain the Holy Spirit During Church Services
- Worship. In Psalm 100, King David says believers should “enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.” Praise reminds believers that everything they are and has come from Him. We don’t deserve His gifts, but He bestows them without measure. Praising God helps us adopt a humble perspective of ourselves and prepares us to listen to what the Spirit wants to tell us.
- Apply the Sermon. Listening to the sermon is great; however, as Jesus explained in the Parable of the Sower, simply receiving God’s Word is not enough. The same is true of listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice. Believers have to be willing to act on the Holy Spirit’s nudges in order to truly entertain Him. A good way to do this is to consider practical ways to apply the sermon to one’s life and actions, asking the Holy Spirit what changes need to be made in order to become more like Jesus.
- Show Kindness and Consideration when entering and leaving the church. Make it a point to greet newcomers and offer to help them find their way around. Greet fellow believers, even if you have had disagreements with them in the past. 1 John 4 makes it clear that those who do not show love don’t really know God because God is love. The Holy Spirit always motivates us to act in love, and doing so is one of the best ways to entertain His presence in our lives.
- Love the church as God does.
Church services offer many opportunities to entertain the Holy Spirit in the community. At the same time, it’s important for believers to take time with God on their own. Setting aside “quiet time” each day enables one to talk to the Holy Spirit undisturbed and listen to what He may have to say. There is no replacement for a personal relationship and walk with God and his Spirit.
Entertaining the Holy Spirit, both during church services and outside of the church, isn’t complicated. All that’s needed is a heart that loves God, wants to hear what He has to say, and is willing to act on what God says. It will take effort to cultivate such a relationship, but the end result is sure to be more than worth it.