(Reinstating an old series, here’s the next installment of “Q&A” – questions people ask that Google answers by bringing them here.)
“What does the Holy Spirit feel like?” Interestingly scripture never mentions this. It talks a good deal about what the Spirit inspires people to do, such as prophesying or preaching, but the spotlight always falls on the Spirit-inspired actions and not on the Spirit Himself. Having said that, I think the question is still answer-able — partly from scripture, and partly from the experience of believers.
Many passages in the Bible include the words “…and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him/her/them…”. However this quotation is never followed by anything like “…and the people said, ‘whoa, what was THAT?’” Generally speaking, when the Spirit speaks, people recognize the message as coming from God. So the first thing I’d say is the Holy Spirit feels like truth.
The Spirit is described in various parts of scripture as fire, power, faith, peace, joy, fullness, or holiness (the seal of God’s promise in and on us). All these things come from God and when the Spirit makes His presence known we usually feel at least some of these things in some way or another.
In most cases in scripture the arrival of the Spirit is followed immediately by someone speaking God’s word or prophesying. The Spirit of God brings God’s word, and when the Spirit inspires, it feels impossible to keep quiet about the Word.
The Spirit is, truly and literally, God within us. Sometimes a person can sense the presence of a Being far greater than can be imagined; I’m sure when the Spirit touches us, He holds back a great deal otherwise we’d be completely overwhelmed.
In conjunction with healing and other miracles, the presence of the Spirit is often described as “warmth”, “a tingling sensation”, “electrical” or “breathtaking”. These sensations do exist (and they’re quite pleasant) but they should not be looked for as “proof” that a person is feeling the Spirit. Every believer receives the Holy Spirit when becoming a Christian, and always has the Spirit in him or her whether His presence is felt or not. What the Spirit does give daily is deeper insight — eyes to see and ears to hear — or as Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and more abundantly”. The Spirit gives a deeper, more meaningful life in every sense of the word.
Above all, the relationship between the believer and the Spirit is just that — a relationship, a community of two, in which the Spirit feels like the embrace of a friend, brother, or soul-mate. One then becomes aware that the Holy Spirit has the same community-of-two relationship with every believer on the planet, which defines the family of God, the community of faith, the true Church. And in that sense, the Spirit feels like home.