The Holy Spirit and the Chaos of Life

8.10.23 Devo Image

“And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.”—Genesis 1:2b (NLT)

Chaos. It’s rarely a word we want to hear associated with any part of our life or world. No one wants to admit when their home life is chaotic. As we seek to understand a little bit about who the third person (the Holy Spirit) of the Trinity is, we must start with Genesis 1:2 and the chaos . . .

In Genesis 1, we learn that the “earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters,” (Genesis 1:2a NLT). The word for empty (ṯō·hū) speaks of desolation, wildness, and confusion. It describes a formless, chaotic nothingness. Again, it’s not how I would want my life to be described, but this is how the world was: a nonfunctional, primordial, watery darkness that was ripe for transformation. And that’s where we pick it up in the second part of the verse, which tells us, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” 

Yesterday, we learned Jesus was there in the beginning. Today, we see the Spirit was there as well! And all throughout the Old and New Testaments, we see references to the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Spirit of Christ. These are references to the Holy Spirit.

Here in Genesis 1, a picture is painted of the Spirit circulating over the water like a mother bird protectively circling over her nest. It’s a beautiful picture of our lives, isn’t it? Because whether we want to admit it or not, our lives are chaotic. This world is chaotic. It’s full of confusion, darkness, desolation, and emptiness. It can throw our whole lives into disarray in a matter of seconds. But guess what, Christian? The Spirit of God—that glorious hand that holds the universe together—is reaching out amidst the chaos with His power and authority at our disposal. 

And here are just a few things Scripture tells us about Him and what He does for us:

The Spirit teaches us (John 14:16, 26), He testifies about Jesus to us and through us (John 15:26), He guides us (John 16:13; Romans 8:14), convicts us (John 16:8), makes us born again (2 Corinthians 5:17; John 3:3; Ephesians 2:1–4; Romans 8:11), intercedes and advocates for us (Romans 8:2; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25), leads us (Matthew 4:1; Acts 8:29, 13:2–4, 16:6, 20:22), sanctifies (John 17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Philippians 1:6), equips us (Ephesians 4:12), fills us (Ephesians 4:30, 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Galatians 5:16), provides power for ministry (Acts 1:8), emboldens believers (Acts 4:31), identifies and defines spiritual leaders (Acts 6:3), strengthens and comforts martyrs (Acts 7:55), leads us to ministry opportunities (Acts 8:29), comforts and encourages the church (Acts 9:31), calls and ordains spiritual leaders (Acts 13:2), exposes and rebukes spiritual error and adversity (Acts 13:9), fills us with joy (Acts 13:52), and compels us to proclaim the gospel (Acts 18:5). This is just a small list of the role and functions of the Holy Spirit in the world and our lives. 

I’m not sure where you find yourself today. Maybe your life is in full chaos mode, or maybe you feel like things are pretty calm. Wherever you are, never forget that the life-giving Spirit of the Lord Almighty is not only hovering over the chaos of your life, He’s living within you, breathing life into you, empowering you for His great work, and equipping you with gifts from God. 

Pause: How do you usually deal with chaos? 

Practice: Do an Old Testament study on the Spirit of God.

Pray: Father, today I ask for a fresh filling of Your Holy Spirit! Fill me now and every day in the Spirit, Lord. Pour out new mercies upon me so I may grow deeper in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, so I may be equipped for service, and so I may walk in Your ways and accomplish the good work You have called me to. Amen.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.