The Force in Star Wars–strong in it some are. Yoda is very strong in the Force. Luke and Anakin (who later became Darth Vader) were strong in the Force. And the Force in Star Wars encompassed all. It was seen as something mystical. Something grand. Something that was everywhere yet also inside. Some have compared the Force to the Holy Spirit. I don’t think so.
Right now, I’m meditating on the Holy Spirit for Sunday. I’m beginning a 4 week series looking at who the Holy Spirit is, the work of the Holy Spirit, the Fruit of the Spirit, and life in the Spirit. Each of these is important in understanding who the Holy Spirit is and how He works in our lives. And I say He. For the Holy Spirit is personal.
That is one of the ways that the Holy Spirit is different than the Force. The Force is impersonal. There is the light side to the Force and the dark side to the Force (much like duct tape). When one taps into the light side of the Force, they abandon emotion. They focus on what is only the Force. They focus on what is and what will be. They are centered and driven by the movements of the Force. The Dark side of the Force depends greatly on emotion, especially the emotions of anger and hatred. They feed the dark side of the Force. The dark side of the Force is emotionally driven, you feed off your anger and your hate.
Yoda rightfully tells Anakin that fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and that leads to the dark side. The dark side is alluring. It is filled with power. But it is also filled with manipulation of Force, bending it to do your will rather than doing the will of the Force as the Jedis do.
But the Holy Spirit ain’t like that at all. The Holy Spirit doesn’t have a light side or a dark side. The Holy Spirit is true God. The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son (Jesus). And when we believe in Jesus and call upon His name in true faith, the Holy Spirit lives within us.
With the Force, it was originally portrayed as something spiritual in Episode IV (the one that came out in ’77). Then in The Phantom Menace (episode I in ’99) it was told that the Force is made up on midichlorians–tiny organisms that live in each person in the galaxy. In the book Vector Prime (which came out in 2000) it was shown that only those in the galaxy had the Force. Those outside the galaxy, from another galaxy, didn’t have the Force.
The Holy Spirit is available to all. He is personal. He dwells within you. He is given to you when you call on the name of Jesus. He moves in your life and directs you through whispers, through scripture, through tugs at the heart and weighing on the soul. The Holy Spirit isn’t just something that we use for our own benefit. He is God who moves us for His benefit, for the benefit of God and His mission.
As God the Father sent God the Son, so God the Father, through the Son, sends the God the Holy Spirit into our lives.
The Holy Spirit isn’t like the Force at all. He is real. He is actual. He has been around from the beginning. He has been around from before creation. When God made the earth, the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters of the deep. When God breathed life into Adam in Genesis 2, the word for breath is the same for the Holy Spirit. We are filled with the breath of God, the breath of God is the Holy Spirit.
When Jesus went up to heaven, ten days later on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was given to us. The breath of heaven is with us now. The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost like a rushing wind and appeared like fire over the disciples who were waiting for the gift of the Spirit to come.
The Holy Spirit prays for us in groans that only God can understand. The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. The Holy Spirit is active and real.
Now, Emperor Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith, tells impressionable Anakin, that one can manipulate the Force in such a way to give life and to take it and to prolong it. That is manipulation of the Force by the dark side. The Holy Spirit cannot be manipulated. He cannot be shoved around and used. He exists not for our pleasure or use. He is because He is. He exists as the third Person of the Trinity.
The Force is not God. The Holy Spirit is. The Holy Spirit is God Himself, and dwells with us personally.
Now here’s the trippy thing. You may not understand it. You may not understand the mysticalness of the Holy Spirit. You don’t need to understand His mysticalness in order to rely on Him for guidance and direction.
Pray to God the Holy Spirit, ask Him to reveal Himself to you as the third Person of the Trinity. As Him to reveal Himself to you and that He moves in ways you may not understand. And let God work in you through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.