I was recently asked to create something (anything) ex nihilo (out of nothing). I couldn’t do it. In order to create anything, I require pre-existing matter and materials (even I myself require Someone else to create me!). There is only one person in the world who can create ex nihilo …the Holy Spirit. He is unfathomably impressive! The Holy Spirit isn’t just powerful, He is omnipotent. And He doesn’t just create ex nihilo, He also orders and arranges creation in an intimate and sustainable way. For instance, the very first thing we learn about the Holy Spirit is that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” This description of the Holy Spirit hovering over the face of the waters conveys the idea of a mother bird hovering over her nest. In other words, the Holy Spirit is the intimate, and ever-present, Helper; incessantly ordering what would otherwise be chaos. The influence of the Holy Spirit in creation is like the influence of a woman in the life of a bachelor …the bachelor’s life is disorderly, filthy, and muddled; but then a woman comes along and brings organization, sanitation, and standards of excellence to the bachelor’s life. Even in a sinless world God says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
In addition to the Holy Spirit’s creative power and indispensable organization of creation, we are also surrounded with sundry evidence of the Holy Spirit’s imagination. For example, Psalm 104 invites us to envisage ourselves as sailors on a ship in the middle of the ocean. As we sail the seas, we are keenly aware of our smallness; both because of the ocean’s vastness, and the variety of innumerable creatures teeming the seas! The enormity and heterogeneity of the ocean staggers the imagination! And then one day, a few months into our voyage, we are standing on the spar deck and all-of-a-sudden a leviathan bursts out of the water and flies 90 meters into the sky before diving dramatically back down into the depths of the sea! God’s poem in Job 41 floods your mind as you witness this prodigious and mythical spectacle!
“Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook
or press down his tongue with a cord?
Can you put a rope in his nose
or pierce his jaw with a hook?
Will he make many pleas to you?
Will he speak to you soft words?
Will he make a covenant with you
to take him for your servant forever?
Will you play with him as with a bird,
or will you put him on a leash for your girls?
Will traders bargain over him?
Will they divide him up among the merchants?
Can you fill his skin with harpoons
or his head with fishing spears?
Lay your hands on him;
remember the battle—you will not do it again!
Behold, the hope of a man is false;
he is laid low even at the sight of him.
No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up.
Who then is he who can stand before me?
Who has first given to me, that I should repay him?
Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame.
Who can strip off his outer garment?
Who would come near him with a bridle?
Who can open the doors of his face?
Around his teeth is terror.
His back is made of rows of shields,
shut up closely as with a seal.
One is so near to another
that no air can come between them.
They are joined one to another;
they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
His sneezings flash forth light,
and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
Out of his mouth go flaming torches;
sparks of fire leap forth.
Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke,
as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
His breath kindles coals,
and a flame comes forth from his mouth.
In his neck abides strength,
and terror dances before him.
The folds of his flesh stick together,
firmly cast on him and immovable.
His heart is hard as a stone,
hard as the lower millstone.
When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid;
at the crashing they are beside themselves.
Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail,
nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
He counts iron as straw,
and bronze as rotten wood.
The arrow cannot make him flee;
for him, sling stones are turned to stubble.
Clubs are counted as stubble;
he laughs at the rattle of javelins.
His underparts are like sharp potsherds;
he spreads himself like a threshing sledge on the mire.
He makes the deep boil like a pot;
he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
Behind him he leaves a shining wake;
one would think the deep to be white-haired.
On earth there is not his like,
a creature without fear.
He sees everything that is high;
he is king over all the sons of pride.”
As you stand on the spar deck, utterly stunned; you wonder to yourself, “What kind of imaginative, omnipotent, being invented such a formidable & playful creature (Psalm 104:26)!?” And as you revel in what you just witnessed, it begins to dawn on you …the Holy Spirit is wooing you into a relationship! The impressive, intrinsic, creative power; and the myriad declarations of the imaginative world surrounding you all comes back to the Creator’s desire, “Let us make man in our image; and behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” The awe you feel as you gawk at leviathan is actually a signpost pointing you to something even more staggering …the Creator of leviathan is your Father! Getting you to see and savor this surreal fact is the Holy Spirit’s BIG objective in your soul, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your heart, crying “Abba! Father!” The Spirit of DIVINE ADOPTION has invaded your heart! The priority of the Holy Spirit is to get you ready for your wedding day; to prepare you as a bride for your husband, the Son of God; who will come accompanied by a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”