Can a person feel the Holy Spirit?
It is completely common for someone to feel the Holy Spirit at some point in their walk with God. It’s important to remember that the Holy Spirit is God and He desires to reveal Himself to us. He may choose to do this in a subtle way or in a not so subtle way.
The Bible is full of instances where people experienced the Spirit of God in a powerful way.
“The house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14)
“Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34-35)
From both of these passages of scripture, we see God’s presence filling a place so intensely that the Priests, and even Moses, couldn’t continue to minister.
This is not only in the Old Covenant but this also happens in the New Covenant as well.
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4)
This had to have been a powerful experience because these disciples have never heard of speaking in tongues and all of a sudden the Holy Spirit fills 120 people and they all start speaking in tongues at once. (Related article: How to Receive the Holy Spirit and Speak in Tongues (Explained).
Not only that but a crowd of 3000 people surrounded them and inquired about what was happening.
In short, it is absolutely biblical for someone to feel the Holy Spirit. In fact, I would say it is to be expected at some point in a person’s life as they continually seek God.
What does the Holy Spirit feel like?
The presence of the Holy Spirit can feel like many things. When you experience His presence you may feel tingling, warmth, electricity, an internal peace, or joy.
For me, when I first felt the Holy Spirit, I experienced something similar to a blanket of peace that wrapped around me. I physically felt this manifestation and it was a very powerful experience for me.
However, something that impacted my life much more than that was learning to live by faith in the Word of God.
You see, our whole lives we have learned to rely upon our five physical senses, so when we feel the tangible presence of God we make the mistake of trying to live by that feeling of God rather than having faith in God. This can be dangerous.
So, there are many manifestations when it comes to feeling the Holy Spirit, but remember, regardless if you feel something or not, if you’re a believer, the Holy Spirit is always with you and He’ll never leave you.
Sometimes we get so caught up on feelings that we forget all about simple Bible faith.
The Bible reveals that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)
Seeing is one of our senses, just like feeling is. And this verse tells us that faith brings into reality the things we hope for without the evidence of our senses.
So, although we may feel the wonderful presence of the Holy Spirit at times, we should not live by what we feel, rather we should live by faith. Which is why the Bible tells us to live and walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
If you want to know more about living by faith and what that looks like you can check out an article I wrote called The Faith of the Centurion & How to Have it. Also, if you want to read specifically about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and what that feels like you can do so by clicking the link.
Why do I cry when I feel the Holy Spirit?
You may cry when you feel the Holy Spirit because the Spirit of God is multidimensional. He can touch our spirits and our bodies, as well as our emotions. At times these experiences may be so powerful that our only response is to weep.
The Bible reveals to us that mankind is created with three parts: spirit, soul, and body.
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Our spirit is what the Bible calls our inner man, it is where the Holy Spirit dwells. Our soul is our mind, will, conscience, and emotions. The Bible tells us that our soul is the part that needs to be renewed in order for us to be transformed. Finally, our body is the most obvious one and it is our home while we’re on this earth.
(I would love to explain this in more detail but it would simply send us on a rabbit trail so if you are interested in this, you can check out an article where I cover it a little more in-depth. The article is titled 3 Simple Tips on How to Renew your Mind).
Now I mentioned all of this to say that when we experience the Holy Spirit, whether physically, intellectually, or emotionally, that is because the Spirit of God is overflowing out of our spirit and into our soul and body.
For example, when we have an “aha” moment while reading the Word of God, the Holy Spirit is giving us revelation and touching our souls. When we have a moment where He reveals something to us and we just can’t stop weeping, the Holy Spirit is touching our soul, and specifically touching our emotions. When we feel Him physically, the Holy Spirit is overflowing out of our spirits and onto our bodies.
This is why you may be crying when you feel the Holy Spirit.
Why Can’t I feel the Holy Spirit anymore?
It doesn’t matter if you feel the Holy Spirit anymore or not. The Bible tells us to walk by faith, not by our physical senses. Feeling the Holy Spirit is an event that is meant to happen occasionally, it was never meant to be something that Christians live by.
Every follower of Jesus is meant to live by faith, not by our five physical senses. The Bible tells us this repeatedly and makes a clear distinction between faith and feelings.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Notice the difference these verses make between faith and our physical senses. Hebrews says that faith brings substance to our hope without the evidence of what we see (a.k.a physical senses). In fact, it even says that faith is “the evidence of things not seen.” In other words, our faith replaces physical evidence.
Faith can give you an assurance that is more solid than natural physical senses. It is possible to be more sure in God and His promises than the ground on which you stand upon.
In fact, that is exactly what the Bible tells us. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35). And where again does faith come from again? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
So if you’re not feeling the Holy Spirit right now in your life, it doesn’t really make a difference whether or not you feel Him. What does make the difference, however, is what you believe.
Do you believe that God is with you and the He’ll never leave you nor forsake you? (Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5) Do you believe that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16) Do you believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again to bring you back into a relationship with God? (John 17:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21) Do you believe that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”? (1 John 4:4)
If you believe these truths then it doesn’t matter if you feel Holy Spirit or not.
What you and I need in our walk with God is not to feel Him more so that we can get more goosebumps, rather we need to believe Him more so that we can develop a knowing inside of us that will become unshakeable.