How do we know we have the Holy Spirit residing inside of us? You have come to this page from the page where we have just discussed that this is the primary difference between Christianity and all other religions, in that, God places His Holy Spirit (a third of Himself) inside of you if you truly submit to Him and acknowledge you are a sinner and not capable of not sinning without His help. You see, He knows you can never be good enough to warrant His favor but with His help you can begin to do His Will, which is always the best for everyone.
So how do we know we have the Holy Spirit within us? I was asked this by a coworker and after giving several examples, it dawned on me that this is a very valid question worthy of discussion and the answers in themselves may encourage one to seek the Lord because they want this power!
The first indication that should be obvious is that you long to talk to others about God! This is not an "in your face" type of desire, either, but if the issue comes up in a conversation, you feel the desire to discuss Him, in a way you never did before! You may still feel hesitant to talk in certain situations because you feel inadequate in scripture knowledge or what the other individual's true motives are in asking you but if you feel comfortable enough, you engage and enjoy the experience! God likens Himself to be the "Bridegroom" and us (the church) as His "Bride." And as any prospective new bride, on earth, only wants to talk about her future wedding and her future husband, we will have a similar desire to talk about God now and our future with Him! My wife's friend, who is a Christian, has a non-believing daughter, who has been living with a young man (also non-believer) for several years and he has finally asked her to marry him. Well, even though the wedding is not until the following year, all she wants to do is talk about it! Even her mother gets bored talking with her about it. Ironically her reaction is like the non-believer's to listening to a Christian talk about Jesus and their coming marriage with Him! So, if you have the Holy Spirit residing in you, you will have an unquenchable desire to talk about Jesus and the signs of His coming!
Coupled with this desire to talk about God, you should have a desire to read His Word (Bible) or at least hear teachings from It! He uses it to speak to us sometimes and especially when we read a passage or hear a teaching that seems to be specifically geared to us, it may be Him speaking to us! His Word should begin to make more sense to you as you grow closer to Him. It's meaning may change in depth, as you grow in your walk with the Lord, also!
You should find that you no longer have the same desires that you once had, also. Some individuals addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography or any worldly pass time immediately are cured of these addictions. However, just because you are not, does not mean the Holy Spirit is not there. He will be convicting you of these detrimental conditions but may have to work slowly to give you the power to overcome them. He may wait until you call on Him for help! The Holy Spirit is a "Gentleman" scripture tells us. So, He may be gentle in His approach to you! Only He knows what your needs are and how to go about "pruning" you. The Word uses this agricultural term, because the Bible was written during simpler times but for those with this type of background know that pruning a tree correctly promotes the growth of more fruit. Fruit is analogous to good works, for the Christian. These good works are from the Holy Spirit and not from us (our flesh) because we are incapable of knowing what works are needed! Like with an alcoholic (who we don't know is one), we don't realize that giving them another drink will hurt them - only the Holy Spirit knows this! Only the Holy Spirit knows if we are enabling someone with what we think is help.
The Holy Spirit is like a magnified conscience, also! Our conscience is a combination of societal and parental values that we have been exposed to throughout our lives. They are culture-relative. But the Holy Spirit's conviction is true and pure. Many things will become more clear as to whether they are sin or not. Sin is simply not doing God's Will that He has determined for us before He formed the world! While still working, I was evaluated for a new job by a psychological testing company, hired by the previous employer (the company had been purchased). They determined that I see things in too "black" and "white" terms. This is not necessarily good in today's corrupt world. I did not get the job, possibly as a result of my Holy Spirit-led attitude! I considered it quite a compliment!
As part of this conviction, we will begin to see how sinful we are also, as a growing Christian who is becoming closer to God. Like Ezekiel (an old testament prophet), as he got a glimpse of God he felt very, very sinful and unclean! You will find that mature Christians are very humble and not quick to judge others, also, knowing that only the Holy Spirit is keeping them from being just like the nonbelievers. The mere fact that someone questions whether they have the Holy Spirit in them or not may be an indication that they do, because they are questioning out of a humble heart, feeling unworthy! Those who do not question their worthiness may not have the Holy Spirit convicting them, meaning He is not present. The Bible even tells us that if you think you don't sin, God is not in you! Eventually you will realize this and just realize that you are not capable of good works without the Holy Spirit's help. Imagine being able to love someone who has just murdered your child (for those of us who are parents) or one of your parents or spouse. We are not capable of this without the Holy Spirit's help. This is an extreme example and it may be just the forgiving of someone we do or do not know who has wronged us, in some way!
And as a result of having the Holy Spirit in us, we find we don't want to associate with non-believers as much as we once did! Of course, in a fallen world, we are going to be surrounded by non-believing spouses, relatives, friends and co-workers, but still we will find our relationships, with these individuals, different and not as fulfilling as before. God tells us to be wary of these relationships because they can make it harder for the Holy Spirit to get through to us and direct us in God's Will for us. God does not say we will be happy in this world and we will only feel truly fulfilled when we are doing His Will. He is preparing us for eternity where he has a plan for us that will be specifically designed for our unique talents and will be totally fulfilling!