I love a good story. Whether it’s a fictional book or a TV show; I love how the pieces fit together. One element that seems to be crucial to a good story is the characters. Not just a shallow personality but a creative backstory. His backstory is events that took place before the story began that influenced his behavior. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, has a backstory.
The Spirit’s first appearance in Gen. 1:2 had purpose: He was hovering. The Hebrew word for hover means to move gently, linger, remain, or maintain a position. This magnificent word indicates the Spirit was brooding, like a hen who cherishes her chicks, focusing all her attention and protection on her offspring. The Spirit of Jesus was present at creation, lingering, brooding, until He received word from the Father.
The role of the Holy Spirit hasn’t changed today. He is still active, brooding over believers like a mother-hen, waiting for word to move into action. He won’t barge into your life; He’s waiting to be invited (Luke 11:13).
Ruach Elohim, the Spirit of God, is literally the breath of God (Gen. 1:30, 2:7) imparting life. He has focused His attention on creation, hovering, as He receives His assignments: bring life. His attention is now focused on those with faith, bringing life out of death, light into darkness, and joy from trials. This backstory will shed light on His character and give more meaning to Who He is and how He influences our lives.
As sin entered into our world humanity became separated from God. We no longer had continual access into His presence and our sinless nature became a sinful nature. It was quite apparent as we continue to investigate His backstory that this state of sin and rebellion against God would not last. Even God has His limits.
Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” Genesis 6:3
Thank God for limitations. In that carnal state (Gen. 6) we see the extent of man’s wickedness but the Spirit never lost sight of His original commission: bring life.
Repentance is the key here. Early in Genesis, the backstory, humanity was in a horrific state of rebellion and rejecting the life that God offered. For a believer, repentance brings us closer to God and allows the Spirit of Christ to enter into a situation and bring life and light. We don’t have to be concerned that He will reject us; He promises to walk alongside of us, bringing help and guidance; that promise is forever.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17