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Holy Spirit is dangerous.

There, I said it. I’m glad I said it; it needed to be said. I’ve been studying Holy Spirit for seven weeks now and it is already obvious that Holy Spirit is extremely dangerous to 21st century Americans. In Luke 3 Jesus is baptized and has an incredible spiritual experience: John confesses him as the Lamb of God, Holy Spirit descends upon him in physical form, and the Father audibly speaks to him. Then in 4 we find that Holy Spirit immediately leads Jesus into the desert for the express purpose of weakening him before his appointment with the devil. Jesus goes from spiritual high to the wasteland in about a month. That’s when it occurred to me: Holy Spirit is dangerous.

He’s dangerous because he takes me where I don’t want to go. There is a reason I don’t live in the desert: IT SUCKS! No offense to my brothers in Palm Springs, but people stay out of the desert because it’s hot, dry, arid, lifeless, and topographically challenged. People die in the desert. There are places in this world I never want to visit. There are places in my heart I never want to visit. Places in my heart that are dry and lifeless. Holy Spirit doesn’t care whether or not I want to go to these places. He takes me to address the challenges I find there, and that makes him dangerous.

He’s dangerous because he has no regard for my comfort and safety. I spend most of my life working to ensure my comfort and safety. When measured as a result of my daily efforts, my comfort and safety are of supreme importance to me. Holy Spirit isn’t interested in how comfortable I am; his interests are far higher. Holy Spirit has a completely different definition of what it means to keep me safe. When I chose to listen to his voice and follow his lead there are times when he will lead me into the desert to face evil, and that makes him dangerous.

He’s dangerous because he pushes me to become somebody I am not yet. After Jesus was finished in the desert the Bible says he returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. Jesus was better, stronger, and more powerful as a result of his encounter with the devil. Holy Spirit will lead me to become a better man. He will lead me to deal with my sin and my wounds. He will lead me to face my temptations. Holy Spirit leads me to do things I don’t want to do in order to become someone I am not yet, and that makes him dangerous.

Holy Spirit won’t leave me in the desert alone. Holy Spirit won’t push me farther than I can go. But he will stop me from protecting what I value so that I can become someone even more valuable. That makes him dangerous to the American lifestyle. Following Holy Spirit requires much courage.