The Holy Spirit – God With Us
A daily devotion to help you navigate lockdown
"Lord Our God, Present in Every Place; We Ask You To Protect With Your Loving Care Those We Love and Who Are Now Away From Us. May Your Fatherly Hand Direct Them, Grant Them Strength For Their Needs and Inspire In Them An Unwavering Faith In You - Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen."
Jesus said "I am going...and I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever - the Spirit of truth" John 14:2 and 16-17
If you can picture the Last Supper, you can picture the occasion when Jesus taught His disciples many things about the Holy Spirit - recorded in John 14- 16.
For my next handful of devotions I'm going to look at the role of the "Comforter" (the Holy Spirit) from these chapters so you might see why a Christian is never alone and richly blessed.
Did you know that when Jesus announced to those disciples around the table that He would be with them "only a little longer" (13:33) He immediately went on to say "I will come to you" (14:18)? Can you imagine how bewildering this was for the disciples - He was going and coming...leaving and arriving!?
But of course HE was leaving to die and rise and return to the Father and His SPIRIT (the Holy Spirit) was coming to indwell their hearts. The bible shows us God above (in the Old Testament), God beside (in the four gospels) and God inside (from Pentecost onwards).
In those famous words that are read at so many funeral services, Jesus says "I am going to prepare a place for you" (14:2) and most people think Jesus is going UP to the Father's house to prepare a place. But Jesus is going OUT - out of the room that they are in and soon out of the city as the soldiers take Him out and then (on the cross) out of God's fellowship as He is "abandoned" - paying the price of our sins.
And because He goes OUT (to pay the price of our sin and our separation from God), the Holy Spirit can come IN to the hearts of all God's people. Because Jesus does the work of removing the barrier between God and us, then the greatest intimacy with God can take place as the Spirit indwells us. And notice this priceless word (in 14:16) - the Holy Spirit will live in God's people "forever".
The first thing we need to know from John 14-16 on the Person of the Holy Spirit is that HE will live in the believer forever. The Holy Spirit is not an "it" or a force or just a power - but He is a Person. He has all the qualities of God who thinks and loves and feels and communicates and guides and provides and blesses and stays. God's Spirit is a Person.
I can imagine someone reading this and thinking "I believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and I can cope with God 'up there' or 'out there' but I don't really understand 'God in here' or as Jesus puts it, the Holy Spirit "in you" (14:17). And I'd love to explain this in simple terms or draw a diagram for you but I don't think we are meant to be able to turn this truth into something to be scribbled on a piece of paper.
But we are to know that every disciple of JESUS (is that you?) has the FATHER as well (John 1:11-13) and the Holy SPIRIT too (John 14:17-18).
When I was a younger Christian, one of the most important things I ever heard in a sermon was this sentence (or three):
"Your sin and God's Spirit will live in you and struggle within you, until you meet Christ - and then sin will be present no more. Your sin will NOT drive the Spirit from your heart (no matter how badly you fall - He is in you forever). And God's Spirit will NOT drive sin completely from your heart (He will work to make you holy but you won't be perfect)...till you meet Christ.
Some of the proofs that God's Spirit lives in the genuine Christian (meaning the indwelt Christian) include a new desire to know Christ better, a new hunger for His Word, a new appreciation for His death in your place, a new affection for the people of God, a new desire to see others believe in Him and a new rejection of sin. [I have noticed that real believers stop taking His name in vain almost immediately because He is now precious to them - they cannot use His name Carelessly].
I wonder if you can find a moment to meditate for a minute or two on the verses at the top of this devotion and say to yourself, "because Jesus DID GO to the cross, the Holy Spirit DID COME to every believer. Which means that the Heavenly Father so loves me and the Lord Jesus so loves me that He has put His very Spirit in me - so that I am His and He is mine forever".
Or you could say to Him:
"Dear Heavenly Father - I thank you for your Son who bore my death and for your Spirit who gives me Life. Please write these things on my heart and impress upon me the cost of your love and the value of your presence with me everyday - Amen"
God bless you - and make His presence real to you,