Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
3 ministries of the Holy Spirit

Three Ministries of the Holy Spirit


Navigating this crazy world as a follower of Christ is becoming more and more difficult. And these days, I need all the help I can get.

The Bible has a lot to say about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. Equally God with the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit was with the Father and Son at creation. He was involved in the incarnation as He overshadowed Mary for the conception of Jesus. He was there at the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptizer. And He is here today, indwelling every follower of Christ.

Today, among His many ministries, the Holy Spirit is especially active in my life in three ways through pushes, restraints, and hugs.

Of course, the biblical terms describing the role of the Holy Spirit sound a bit more spiritual:

  • Exhorter
  • Convictor
  • Comforter

We don’t commonly use the word exhort in our conversations these days. Instead, we talk about being urged, encouraged, or persuaded. Frankly, sometimes I need a push. I need the Lord to encourage me to move forward when I’m fearful. When I’m reluctant to move outside my comfort zone. Or when I know what to do, but I still need an extra nudge.

Other times I need the conviction of the Holy Spirit to bring me face to face with what I’d rather avoid. To be confronted by my sin. To be restrained when I’m ready to speak impulsively. Or to be stopped when I want to follow my natural desires even though I know better.

Finally, there are times when I need a fresh awareness of the Holy Spirit holding me close. Sometimes I just need a hug. Comfort when I’m weary and heavily burdened. When my circumstances overwhelm me and the tears flow in torrents. And yes, when I mourn over my sin.

A push. A restraint. And a hug. I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit’s ministry in these three ways every day.

How is the Holy Spirit revealing Himself in one of these three ways to you today?
How might you look to see Him reveal Himself in these three ways as we move into 2023?


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  1. Nancy E. Head

    I love that God comforts us to make us comforters to others. He exhorts to help us exhort. He convicts to show us our own sin so we may understand others better and be humble.

    God bless, Annie. Great message here. Merry Christmas!

  2. Sue

    Thank you for making these words human and understandable! I love “pushes, restrains and hugs”! He mostly has to convict(restrain) me, ugh, but then comes the hug. Love how the Holy Spirit speaks through each week.
    Looking forward to 2023 spiritual words from you, Ava. Happy New Year!

  3. Mary Ann

    Push, restraint and hugs – He gave me all three these past few weeks! Thank you, Ava, for making our Holy Spirit personal to me! Love you, my Friend!

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