The Finger of God – Introduction

The Finger of God – Introduction

The Finger of God – Introduction.

“And Jesus told them, ‘If it is through the Holy Spirit, the finger of God, that I cast out demonic spirits, if it is actually God’s finger that I am pointing at those demons, then the Kingdom of God has swept over you unawares, and the reign of God has already come upon you.”  (Matthew 12:28; Luke 11:20). 

God leaves His fingerprints everywhere, because that finger of His is always working. God has a finger? Yes, it is now time to bring the Holy Spirit into the conversation. Scripture and Christian thinking ever since the early church supports the idea that the finger of God is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. God’s finger represents the power of the Holy Spirit, and in fact is the working member of the Godhead that demonstrates God’s power and accomplishes His will.

It’s easy to think about the Holy Spirit as like the wind or a breath, since spirit, wind and breath are the same word in Hebrew, “ruach.” God’s Spirit is often thought of as Divine Energy or Life Force as well, since He serves in that capacity in the world. But it stretches the imagination a bit to think of the Holy Spirit as the finger of God’s right hand. A finger is tactile, an actual physical object that we can imagine. The wind, breath and energy, though, are formless, without shape. We can hold onto a finger, but of course we can’t grasp the wind or a breath. To feel the wind in our hair or a breath on our face is a completely different experience than being tangibly touched by a finger. But as we will see, we can be inspired by, or literally inspirited by, the finger of God as well as a divine wind or life force. Don’t we all have a desire to be “touched” by the Spirit?

Like any human finger, the finger of God does not function independent of the hand and the arm. Because of the deep union in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit does not have a mind of His own. A finger is only useful if it is connected to and has a working relationship with the hand and the arm. There is an intricate network of nerves and muscles that enable the arm and the hand and the finger to function together, perfectly in synch. The Trinity enjoys an even more intricate and mysterious network of interdependent parts.  There were some early church theologians that went so far as to suggest that Christ was the “hand” of God. “The divinity is a body that represents the unity of the Godhead; the right hand represents Christ; the finger of the hand represents the Holy Spirit. We use the word finger to draw attention to the Spirit’s power at work.” (St. Ambrose, circa 350 AD). So we can see the finger of God, His mighty hand, and His outstretched arm all at work (Deuteronomy 26:8) to deliver, heal and renew the earth. Another way of saying this is to connect the “mind of the Spirit” (Ro. 8:27) with the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16) in achieving the will of the Father through the “manifold wisdom of God.” (Ephes. 3:10). The finger of God works in partnership with the hand of Christ and the arm of the Father to accomplish God’s will. The fingerprints of the Holy Spirit reveal the magnificent handiwork of God.

The powerful finger of God can do whatever it takes for God’s purposes to be accomplished. His finger can pick up a pitcher of God’s love and pour it out into our hearts until it gushes forth. His finger can touch what is dead and bring it to life, fulfilling His role as “the Giver or Life.” God’s finger is also able to read God’s mind and inspire His words to be written for all the world to see, whether it’s the stone tablets of Moses, the Word of God in Scripture, or the engraving of God’s teachings on our heart. The finger of God, too, remains as the power source for the wonders and miracles performed by God. His finger is also charged with the responsibility to hand out, to distribute, the gifts of the Spirit to all believers. And finally, the finger of God has the power needed to be centrally involved in all spiritual warfare in the invisible realms around us. God’s finger is always ready to spring into action, He is restless to demonstrate the power and love of God. As the eminent theologian R. Cantalamessa said in his book, Come, Creator Spirit, “Most clearly supported in the Bible is that the finger of God indicates the working power of the Holy Spirit.” In the articles to follow, the various ministries of the finger of God will be unpacked and discussed.