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Can you imagine the scene? Jesus had recently died, risen, and now He appears to His disciples. They had witnessed so much over the last three years. They had become a close-knit community. They had seen Him heal the sick, raise the dead, feed thousands and so much more. And today, He was about to drop another bombshell; He would soon leave them.
For this band of brothers, this left them with more questions than answers, uncertainty, and heartache. Amid these emotions, Jesus spoke these really important words;
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].” - (AMP)
Even though they didn’t understand or comprehend what He was saying, these words were about to change the course of not just their lives, but have a big impact that we still walk in today. Jesus was saying to them ‘it is to your benefit that I go away, for when I go the Holy Spirit will come and He will be your Helper, your Comforter, Advocate someone who speaks on your behalf. Your Intercessor the one who prays with you and for you. He will be your Counsellor, the one who strengthens you and your standby who will bring you together.’
It must have seemed strange to the disciples as they listened to Jesus talk about the Holy Spirit. They had become familiar; accustomed with Him always being around. Now they were being asked to follow the Holy Spirit; a person who they couldn’t see, couldn’t touch, or audibly hear. What was it going to be like to have another comforter or helper?
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (ESV)
The word “another” in these verses is significant. It means that the Holy Spirit would be identical to Jesus in every way. Would He speak, think, see, operate, and behave the same way as Jesus? He would not be limited or restricted to one place at a time. Jesus then goes on say the Holy Spirit, the Helper, the Comforter would be with you forever. He would be the Spirit of truth living within. That you would “know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
What a promise this is for us! As a believer, a child of God, the person of the Holy Spirit lives and dwells within each of us and we can get to know Him personally. It may not be possible to see Him, but He abides within us. We can draw upon His wisdom and counsel at any time. We can seek His direction, know His comfort, and learn to listen to His voice.
I know that in my own life I have learned to listen to the promptings of His voice. In recent days, I have been asking to hear His voice more clearly. At the beginning of the day, I would pray a simple yet profound prayer; “Lord, who would you want me to connect with today?”
Every day whilst I am going about my daily routine, I’m asking but also listening. I’m learning that as I listen the Holy Spirit will drop a name or a person to connect with. Maybe to share a message of encouragement or pick up the phone and speak with them. Almost every time, without fail, the person has responded by saying how did you know to reach out to me today, it was just what I needed?
With one particular friend, Stephen, I asked, “Lord, you have given me the name, now what would you want me to say?” Immediately I was reminded of Scripture, and I messaged the Bible verse to him. Stephen replied a few hours later and said, “thanks for the Bible verse it has come as a confirmation as God gave the same verse to my wife earlier in the week.”
Can I encourage you to pray that simple prayer as well? “Lord, who would you want me to connect with today?” Simply learn to listen to the prompting and the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Several years ago, the phrase which was used to teach children the Green Cross Code was “Stop, Look, and Listen. Why not do that now and make it apart of your daily routine?
- Stop what you are doing.
- Look and see what He is saying.
- Listen and obey.
Remember, He lives and abides in you and will be with you forever. He is speaking.
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